The newest version of Stellarium, as well as the former ones, tell that Betelgeuse would be 497.95 ly plus/minus 56 ly away. Celestia also lists Betelgeuse ~500 ly away, but Celestia is comparably old. Isn't it a proven fact that Betelgeuse is about 640 ly away? Why is Stellarium so imprecise?

Rob Jeffries' comment below and this link answer my question well, rather than the link provided above.

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    $\begingroup$ The distance to Betelgeuse is uncertain. Celestia and Stellarium do not calculate or measure distances, they simply use catalogues with all the limitations that are inherent to those catalogues. $\endgroup$
    – ProfRob
    Aug 5, 2020 at 11:50
  • $\begingroup$ @antispinwards It makes clear how imprecise the determination of Betelgeuse's distance is, but still the 640 ly value is presumed the most correct one while no mention of the 500 ly value. Mr. Jeffries answers my question in a better way. $\endgroup$
    – Ioannes
    Aug 5, 2020 at 11:55
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    $\begingroup$ @Ioannes - why do you presume that 640 ly is the most correct value? Some recent estimates are closer to 500... $\endgroup$
    – user24157
    Aug 5, 2020 at 12:01
  • $\begingroup$ @antispinwards Because that's what the link and most sources tell. $\endgroup$
    – Ioannes
    Aug 5, 2020 at 12:39
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    $\begingroup$ @Ioannes - "Isn't it a proven fact that Betelgeuse is about 640 ly away?" - no. $\endgroup$
    – user24157
    Aug 5, 2020 at 12:52


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