The entire northern sky wheels around Polaris. Some assume it’s the brightest star in the sky. In fact, Polaris ranks only 50th in brightness.
Third star in the system, a red dwarf called Proxima Centauri, is our sun’s closest neighbor at about 4.22 light-years.
Arcturus is cutting perpendicularly through the galactic disk at a tremendous rate of speed – some 150 kilometers per second.
Thuban was the Pole Star some 5,000 years ago, when the Egyptians were building the pyramids.
Hadar, aka Beta Centauri, joins Alpha Centauri in pointing to the Southern Cross. It’s a triple system. Two of its stars will someday become nearby supernovae.
Spica is a binary star, with two stars larger and hotter than the sun, telescopically indistinguishable from a single point of light.
Mizar and its fainter companion star Alcor are located in the handle of the Big Dipper. They are one of the sky’s easiest-to-spot double stars.
The star Cor Caroli, or Alpha Canum Venaticorum, is a binary star and the brightest star in the northern constellation Canes Venatici.
You need to be at the latitude of New Orleans, Cairo or New Delhi to glimpse it. From the southern hemisphere, Mimosa is a prominent and beloved star.
You have to be in the Southern Hemisphere to see Crux – the Southern
Cross – in all its glory. Bluish Acrux, aka Alpha Crucis, is its brightest star.
Meet Regulus, brightest star in Leo the Lion.
You can see Alphard – the Heart of the constellation Hydra the Water Snake – in the evening in March, April, and May.
Being so close together in the sky, Pollux and its brother star Castor are easy to compare. Pollux is brighter and golden in color, while Castor is fainter and white.
The Dog Star, Sirius, is easy to spot because it’s the sky’s brightest star. Procyon – the other Dog Star – is always near its brighter brother on the sky’s dome.
Two stars noticeable for being bright and close together might be Castor and Pollux of the Gemini Twins constellation.
Sirius – in the constellation Canis Major the Greater Dog – is the sky’s brightest star. It’s very easy to spot on winter and spring evenings.
Canopus is sky’s second-brightest star and easy to spot on February evenings, if …
Someday, the star Betelgeuse will run out of fuel, collapse under its own weight, and then rebound in a spectacular supernova explosion. Someday … but probably not soon.
Second-brightest star in Taurus the Bull and closest bright star to the galactic anticenter – the point in space that lies directly opposite of our Milky Way’s center.
We see Capella as the brightest star in the constellation Auriga the Charioteer. It is really two stars, each with a golden color similar to our sun.
We couldn’t live as close to Rigel as we live to our sun, because Rigel is nearly twice as hot – and about 40,000 times brighter – than our local star.