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Canopus seen from ISS

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Star trails, one of which is Hamal, via H. Raab on Flickr.

Hamal is an ancient equinox star

The star Hamal, also known as Alpha Arietis, is the brightest star in Aries the Ram. Learn the role this star played in defining the term First Point in Aries.

Mira, from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer

Mira the Wonderful

This star in the constellation Cetus varies in brightness over about 11 months.