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Star of the week: Spica

Spica, the brightest star in the constellation Virgo, is a whirling double star. How to see it in your sky.

Mizar and Alcor, famous double star

Find Mizar and its fainter companion star Alcor in the Big Dipper’s handle.

Cor Caroli, the Heart of Charles

Cor Caroli is a binary star and the brightest star in the northern constellation Canes Venatici, the Hunting Dogs.

Mimosa, 2nd-brightest in Southern Cross

To glimpse Mimosa, you need to be at the latitude of New Orleans, Cairo or New Delhi. From the southern hemisphere, Mimosa is a prominent and beloved star.

Acrux, brightest star in Southern Cross

You have far south on Earth’s globe to see the Southern Cross. Bluish Acrux, aka Alpha Crucis, is its brightest star.

Regulus: Heart of the Lion

Meet Regulus, brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion.

Alphard is the Snake’s Heart

The star Alphard is the Heart of the Snake in constellation Hydra. Look for Alphard in the evening sky in March, April, and May.

Pollux: The brighter Twin star

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.

Procyon is the Little Dog Star

The Dog Star, Sirius, is easy to spot because it’s the sky’s brightest star. Procyon – the other Dog Star – is near its brighter brother on the sky’s dome.

Castor is 6 stars in one

Castor is one of 2 bright stars in the constellation Gemini the Twins. It appears as a single star, but it’s actually a multiple star system.

Sirius is Dog Star and brightest star

Sirius – the Dog Star – is the sky’s brightest star. It’s very easy to spot on winter and spring evenings.

Second-brightest star Canopus

Canopus is the 2nd-brightest star in the sky, and it’s easy to spot on February evenings, if …

Elnath is close to the galactic anticenter

Elnath, the 2nd-brightest star in Taurus, is the closest bright star to the galactic anticenter – the point in space directly opposite of our Milky Way’s center.

Capella is 2 golden stars

We see Capella as the brightest star in the constellation Auriga the Charioteer. It’s actually 2 stars, each with a golden color similar to our sun.

Rigel in Orion is blue-white

Blue-white Rigel, in the constellation Orion, is one of the brightest stars in the night sky. It’s about twice as hot, and 40,000 times brighter, than our sun.

Aldebaran is the Bull’s fiery eye

Aldebaran – brightest star in the constellation Taurus the Bull – is huge! If it were in our sun’s place, its surface would extend almost to the orbit of Mercury.

Betelgeuse will explode someday

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.

Mirfak is Perseus’ brightest star

Mirfak isn’t as famous as its brother star in Perseus, called Algol. But Mirfak is easier to find and can help guide you to Algol.

Menkar is the Whale’s alpha star

It’s not the most famous star in Cetus, or the brightest, although it carries the designation Alpha. But Menkar has its own claims to fame.

Hamal is an ancient equinox star

Hamal, also known as Alpha Arietis, is the brightest star in Aries the Ram. Learn the role this star played in defining the term First Point in Aries.