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Time to see Mira the Wonderful

Mira, in Cetus the Whale, varies in brightness over about 11 months. In late December 2017, it might be near its peak brightness, easily bright enough to be viewed with the eye alone.

Star of the week: Aldebaran

Aldebaran – brightest star in Taurus the Bull – is huge! If it replaced our sun, its surface would extend almost to the orbit of Mercury.

Mirfak is Perseus’ brightest star

Mirfak isn’t as famous as Algol, its brother star in the constellation Perseus. But Mirfak is easier to find and can help guide you to Algol.

Menkar is the Whale’s alpha star

It’s not the most famous star in Cetus the Whale, or the brightest, although it carries the designation Alpha. But Menkar has its own claims to fame.

Hamal is an ancient equinox star

Hamal is the brightest star in Aries the Ram. How to find it in your sky.

Almach is a quadruple star system

Almach looks like 1 star to the eye and like a colorful duo through a telescope. But today we know Almach as 4 stars.

Achernar is the End of the River

Achernar – aka Alpha Eridani – is the 9th brightest star in the sky and the flattest star known.

Al Risha knots Fishes of Pisces

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

Algol is the Demon Star

What’s the scariest star in all the heavens? Around Halloween, look for Algol – a star named for a demon!

Mirach is guide star to three galaxies

The orange-colored star Mirach in the constellation Andromeda acts as your guide star to 3 different galaxies.

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.

Schedar lies at the Queen’s heart

Cassiopeia the Queen is one of the easiest-to-recognize constellations, having the shape of an M or W, Schedar is the Queen’s brightest star.

Alpheratz is part of the Great Square

Finding the star Alpheratz can help you spot the Andromeda Galaxy, the nearest large spiral galaxy to Earth.

Gamma Cephei: A future Pole Star

Gamma Cephei will someday be a Pole Star for Earth.

Fomalhaut had first visible exoplanet

How to see the star Fomalhaut in your sky and a word about Fomalhaut b, the first planet beyond our solar system visible to the eye in photographic images.

Delta Cephei is a famous variable star

Delta Cephei doubles in brightness every 5.36 days and thereby helped establish the known distance scale of our galaxy and universe.

Alpha Cephei is a rapidly rotating star

While not one of the most conspicuous stars in the night sky, Alderamin – aka Alpha Cephei – is easy to spot, and is interesting for its rapid rotation on its axis.

Deneb is distant and very luminous

Deneb is one of the most distant stars you will see with your eye alone. That’s because it’s one of the most luminous stars in the Milky Way galaxy.

Altair is the bright star of the Eagle

Altair needs only 10 hours to spin once on its axis, in contrast to roughly a month for our sun. This mighty star spins on its axis faster than Earth does!

Albireo, beloved double star

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