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Brightest Stars

Mira, from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer
Tonight | Nov 24, 2015

Star of the week: Mira the Wonderful

This star in the constellation Cetus varies in brightness like clockwork over 11 months.

Four stars in the Almach system
Tonight | Nov 18, 2015

Almach is a quadruple star system

Almach looks like a single star to the eye and like a colorful double star through a telescope. But today we know Almach as four stars.

Al Risha via STScI
Science Wire | Nov 06, 2015

Al Risha knots Fishes of Pisces

The star Al Risha in Pisces is not bright. But – at the tip of the graceful V in Pisces – it’s very noticeable.

X-ray view of Deneb Kaitos via NASA/CXC
Tonight | Oct 21, 2015

Deneb Kaitos, the Sea-Monster’s Tail

Look for Deneb Kaitos – brightest star in Cetus the Whale – highest in the sky around mid-evening.

Upside-down Cassiopeia on Mercator globe.
Tonight | Oct 14, 2015

Schedar lies at the Queen’s heart

For much of the Northern Hemisphere, on clear nights you can always see the brightest star in the constellation Cassiopeia.

Star Alpheratz, by Princess Andromeda's left eye
Tonight | Oct 09, 2015

Alpheratz is part of the Great Square

Come to know this star and be one step further along the path of finding the Andromeda galaxy.

Image via Tim Jones/McDonald Observatory.
Tonight | Sep 30, 2015

Gamma Cephei is a future North Star

Gamma Cephei (aka Errai) is a binary star system with at least one planet. It’ll someday be a North Star for Earth.

Tonight | Sep 22, 2015

Fomalhaut had first visible exoplanet

Fomalhaut is sometimes called the Loneliest Star. Its planet Fomalhaut b was the first beyond our solar system to be visible to the human eye.

Tonight | Sep 08, 2015

Delta Cephei is a famous variable star

Delta Cephei doubles in brightness every 5.36 days. This star and others like it have helped establish the known scale of our galaxy and universe.

Alpha Cephei, or Alderamin, via M. Zao.
Tonight | Sep 01, 2015

Alpha Cephei is a rapidly rotating star

Cepheus the King is not a very conspicuous constellation and has only one relatively bright star, Alderamin – aka Alpha Cephei. This star rotates rapidly!

South to overhead late summer to autumn
Tonight | Aug 25, 2015

61 Cygni is the Flying Star

61 Cygni isn’t bright. But it moves exceptionally rapidly against the background of more distant stars. Its motion reveals its nearness to Earth.

Tonight | Aug 19, 2015

Deneb is distant and very luminous

Deneb is one of the most distant stars you will see with your eye alone. That’s because it’s one of the most luminous stars in the Milky Way galaxy.

Altair via astronomers John Monnier and Ming Zhao
Tonight | Aug 11, 2015

Altair is bright star of the Eagle

Altair needs only 10 hours to spin once on its axis, in contrast to roughly a month for our sun. This mighty star spins on its axis more rapidly than Earth!

Photo by Tom Wildoner
Tonight | Aug 05, 2015

Albireo, beloved double star

Albireo is known best for the striking color contrast between its two stars, with the brighter star gold and the dimmer star blue.

Via daviddarling.info
Tonight | Jul 27, 2015

The Double Double star

Binoculars reveal Epsilon Lyrae as a double star – two stars in one. A telescope shows that each component star is also a double.

Vega via NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Tonight | Jul 21, 2015

Star of the week: Vega, the Harp Star

One of the prettiest stories in all skylore surrounds this star. “On the 7th night of the 7th moon … “

Stars Eltanin and Rastaban, near bright star Vega
Tonight | Jul 14, 2015

Eltanin and Rastaban are the Dragon’s Eyes

On summer nights, two famous stars shine down from high in the northern sky. Eltanin and Rastaban represent the fiery Eyes of the constellation Draco the Dragon.

Shaula (l) and Lesath via Starfield Observatory
Tonight | Jul 08, 2015

Shaula and Lesath are Scorpion stinger stars

At the end of the Scorpius the Scorpion’s graceful pattern of stars, you’ll find the Stinger stars. Shaula and Lesath are noticeably bright and close together.

Antares and M4 image by stargazerbob@aol.com
Tonight | Jul 02, 2015

Antares is Heart of the Scorpion

The ruby Heart of Scorpius is the 16th brightest star in our sky and one of the most gigantic stars known.

Alphecca: brightest in C-shaped Corona Borealis.
Tonight | Jun 24, 2015

Alphecca, jewel in Northern Crown

Alphecca. Gemma. Alpha Coronae Borealis or simply Alpha Cor Bor. They’re all names for one star – the brightest star in the constellation Northern Crown.

Zubeneschamali via nikomi.net
Tonight | Jun 16, 2015

Is Zubeneschamali green?

Although some scientists claim stars can’t look green, many stargazers will swear that Zubeneschamali proves otherwise.