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Brightest Stars

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.

Star trails, one of which is Hamal, via H. Raab on Flickr.
Science Wire | Dec 03, 2015

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
Tonight | Nov 24, 2015

Mira the Wonderful

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

Four stars in the Almach system
Tonight | Nov 18, 2015

Almach is a quadruple star system

Almach looks like a single star to the eye and like a colorful double star through a telescope. But today we know Almach as four stars.

Al Risha via STScI
Science Wire | Nov 06, 2015

Al Risha knots Fishes of Pisces

The star Al Risha in Pisces is not bright. But – at the tip of the graceful V in Pisces – it’s very noticeable.

X-ray view of Deneb Kaitos via NASA/CXC
Tonight | Oct 21, 2015

Deneb Kaitos, the Sea-Monster’s Tail

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

Upside-down Cassiopeia on Mercator globe.
Tonight | Oct 14, 2015

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.