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Brightest Stars

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

Star of the week: 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.

Artist's concept of Kochab seen from its planets via ESky
Tonight | Jun 10, 2015

Kochab and Pherkad

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 04, 2015

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 26, 2015

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 19, 2015

Alpha Centauri, closest star system to our sun

Third star in the system, a red dwarf called Proxima Centauri, is our sun’s closest neighbor at about 4.22 light-years.

Arcturus.
Tonight | May 13, 2015

Arcturus 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 05, 2015

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 22, 2015

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 15, 2015

Mizar and Alcor, a famous double star

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, 2015

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 01, 2015

Mimosa is 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 24, 2015

Acrux, brightest star in Southern Cross

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.

Credit: Russell Croman
Tonight | Mar 18, 2015

Regulus is the Lion’s Heart

Meet Regulus, brightest star in Leo the Lion.

Alphard.  (North Central Kansas Astronomical Society)
Tonight | Mar 09, 2015

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.

Golden Pollux
Tonight | Mar 04, 2015

Pollux the brighter Twin star

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.

Procyon
Tonight | Feb 23, 2015

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 always near its brighter brother on the sky’s dome.

Castor system via Jeremy Perez
Tonight | Feb 16, 2015

Castor six stars in one

Two stars noticeable for being bright and close together might be Castor and Pollux of the Gemini Twins constellation.

Canopus seen from ISS
Tonight | Feb 06, 2015

Will you see Canopus?

Canopus is sky’s second-brightest star and easy to spot on February evenings, if …

Betelgeuse imaged in ultraviolet light by the Hubble Space Telescope and subsequently enhanced by NASA. The bright white spot is likely one of this star's poles. Image via NASA/ESA.
Tonight | Jan 29, 2015

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.