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Brightest Stars

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

Star of the week: Alpha Cephei, 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.

Hertzsprung-Russel_cropped
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.

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.