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Brightest Stars

Albireo via Ian Anthony
Tonight | Aug 06, 2014

Star of the week: Albireo one of sky’s finest double stars

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

aquarius_black
Tonight | Jul 29, 2014

Star Skat is near radiant for Delta Aquarid meteors

How to spot it, plus an explanation of why meteors in annual showers have radiant points.

Vega via NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Tonight | Jul 24, 2014

Vega is 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 16, 2014

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, 2014

Shaula and Lesath are the Scorpion’s 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 01, 2014

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, 2014

Alphecca is the jewel in the 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 17, 2014

Is Zubeneschamali a green star?

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

Artist's concept of Kochab seen from its planets via ESky
Tonight | Jun 10, 2014

Kochab and Pherkad guard the pole star

Two noticeable stars in the Little Dipper are said to guard the north celestial pole because they circle so close to Polaris.

Zubenelgenubi via AAO/STScI/WikiSky
Tonight | Jun 05, 2014

Zubenelgenubi is Libra’s alpha star

Zubenelgenubi is an Arabic name that means this star was once seen as the Southern Claw of Scorpius the Scorpion.

Polaris, on left, via Taro Yamamoto
Tonight | May 29, 2014

Polaris is the North Star

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.

Alpha Centauri
Tonight | May 20, 2014

Alpha Centauri closest star system to our sun

The third star in the system, a red dwarf called Proxima Centauri, is thought to be about 4.22 light-years distant and is actually our sun’s closest neighbor.

Arcturus.
Tonight | May 13, 2014

Arcturus, orange star, cuts through galaxy’s disk

Arcturus is cutting perpendicularly through the galactic disk at a tremendous rate of speed – some 150 kilometers per second.

Great Pyramid of Giza
Tonight | May 06, 2014

Thuban is a former Pole Star

Thuban was the Pole Star some 5,000 years ago, when the Egyptians were building the pyramids.

Artist's concept of Spica from hypothetical planet
Tonight | Apr 24, 2014

Spica is a whirling double star

Spica is a binary star, with two stars larger and hotter than the sun, telescopically indistinguishable from a single point of light.

Image Credit: ESO Online Digitized Sky Survey
Tonight | Apr 12, 2014

Mizar and Alcor, famous double star, really six stars

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.

Cor Caroli by F. Ringwald, Fresno State
Tonight | Apr 09, 2014

Cor Caroli or Heart of Charles

The star Cor Caroli, or Alpha Canum Venaticorum, is a binary star and the brightest star in the northern constellation Canes Venatici.

Constellation Crux photo by Christopher J Picking in New Zealand.  More information about this photo here.  Used with permission
Tonight | Apr 02, 2014

Mimosa second-brightest in Southern Cross

If you’re in the U.S., you must be at about New Orleans’ latitude to glimpse it. From the southern hemisphere, Mimosa is a prominent and beloved star.

Constellation Crux photo by Christopher J Picking in New Zealand.  More information about this photo here.  Used with permission
Tonight | Mar 26, 2014

Acrux is brightest star in Southern Cross

Blue Acrux shines as the brightest star in the constellation Crux the Southern Cross.

Credit: Russell Croman
Tonight | Mar 19, 2014

Regulus is the Lion’s Heart

Meet Regulus, brightest star in Leo the Lion, soon to be covered by an asteroid in the best and brightest asteroid occultation ever predicted for North America.

Alphard.  (North Central Kansas Astronomical Society)
Tonight | Mar 09, 2014

Alphard is the Snake’s Heart

You can see Alphard – the Heart of the constellation Hydra the Water Snake – in the evening in March, April, and May.