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Artist's concept of the star Arcturus

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.

Kheops-Pyramid

Thuban is a former Pole Star

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

alpha-beta-centauri-southern-cross

Hadar is a southern pointer star

Hadar, aka Beta Centauri, joins Alpha Centauri in pointing to the Southern Cross. It’s a triple system. Two of its stars will someday become nearby supernovae.

Artist's concept of Spica from hypothetical planet

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

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

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

Mimosa, 2nd-brightest in Southern Cross

You need to be at the latitude of New Orleans, Cairo or New Delhi 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

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

Regulus is the Lion’s Heart

Meet Regulus, brightest star in Leo the Lion.

Alphard.  (North Central Kansas Astronomical Society)

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.