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Brightest Stars

Image via thebadastronomer on Flickr
Tonight | Oct 27, 2014

Mirach is guide star to three galaxies

The orange-colored star Mirach in the constellation Andromeda acts as your guide star to three different galaxies: M31 (Andromeda galaxy), M33 (Triangulum galaxy), and NGC 404.

X-ray view of Deneb Kaitos via NASA/CXC
Tonight | Oct 24, 2014

Deneb Kaitos is the Sea-Monster’s Tail

Look for Deneb Kaitos – brightest star in Cetus the Whale – highest in the sky around mid-evening in northern autumn.

Upside-down Cassiopeia on Mercator globe.
Tonight | Oct 14, 2014

Schedar lies at the Queen’s heart

For much of the Northern Hemisphere, on clear nights you can always see the brightest star in the constellation Cassiopeia.

Image via Tim Jones/McDonald Observatory.
Tonight | Sep 30, 2014

Gamma Cephei is a future North Star

Gamma Cephei (aka Errai) is a binary star system with at least one planet. It’ll someday be a North Star for Earth.

fomalhaut_disk_planet_300
Tonight | Sep 24, 2014

Fomalhaut had first visible exoplanet

Fomalhaut is sometimes called the Loneliest Star. Its planet Fomalhaut b was the first beyond our solar system to be visible to the human eye.

lights_tunnel_distance
Tonight | Sep 09, 2014

Delta Cephei is a famous variable star

Delta Cephei doubles in brightness every 5.36 days. This star and others like it have helped establish the known scale of our galaxy and universe.

Alpha Cephei, or Alderamin, via M. Zao.
Tonight | Sep 02, 2014

Alpha Cephei is 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 28, 2014

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.

Albireo via Ian Anthony
Tonight | Aug 06, 2014

Albireo one of sky’s finest double stars

Albireo is known best for the striking color contrast between its two stars, with the brighter star gold and the dimmer star blue.

Vega via NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Tonight | Jul 24, 2014

Vega is the Harp Star

One of the prettiest stories in all skylore surrounds this star. “On the 7th night of the 7th moon … “