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Brightest Stars

Castor system via Jeremy Perez
Science Wire | Feb 17, 2016

Castor six stars in one

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

Sirius A and B
Science Wire | Feb 10, 2016

Sirius is Dog Star and brightest star

Sirius – in the constellation Canis Major the Greater Dog – is the sky’s brightest star. It’s very easy to spot on winter and spring evenings.

Canopus seen from ISS
Tonight | Feb 04, 2016

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.
Science Wire | Jan 26, 2016

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.

Elnath represents the Bull's Northern Horn.
Tonight | Jan 20, 2016

Elnath, near galactic anticenter

Second-brightest star in Taurus the Bull and closest bright star to the galactic anticenter – the point in space that lies directly opposite of our Milky Way’s center.

Capella system, via Atlas of the Universe
Tonight | Jan 15, 2016

Capella is two golden stars

We see Capella as the brightest star in the constellation Auriga the Charioteer. It is really two stars, each with a golden color similar to our sun.

Blue-white Rigel via Clark Planetarium
Tonight | Jan 06, 2016

Rigel in Orion is blue-white

We couldn’t live as close to Rigel as we live to our sun, because Rigel is nearly twice as hot – and about 40,000 times brighter – than our local star.

Aldebaran-Sun_comparison_cropped
Tonight | Dec 29, 2015

Aldebaran is the Bull’s fiery eye

If Aldebaran were placed where the sun is now, its surface would extend almost to the orbit of Mercury.

Mirfak and Algol in Perseus
Tonight | Dec 22, 2015

Mirfak in Perseus

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.

Look south in late autumn / early winter
Science Wire | Dec 09, 2015

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.