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Star Al Risha binds the Fishes of Pisces

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

Almach: Quadruple star system

With your eyes alone, Almach looks like a single star. Through a telescope, it looks like a colorful duo. But today we know Almach is really 4 stars.

Happy Chinese Valentine’s Day, from Vega

One of the prettiest stories in all skylore surrounds this star. “On the 7th night of the 7th moon …” The legend sets the date of Chinese Valentine’s Day – the Qixi Festival – this year on August 17.

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.

Deneb is distant and very luminous

But – especially with last month’s 2nd data release from the Gaia satellite, whose job is measuring star distances – why don’t we know Deneb’s distance for certain?

Mizar and Alcor, famous double star

Mizar and its fainter companion star Alcor are easy to spot in the Big Dipper’s handle.

Quietly, Regulus ushers in springtime

Regulus, brightest star in Leo the Lion, is now rising in the east after sunset. You might not notice it, but stargazers know that, when Regulus appears in this way, spring is near.

Sirius is Dog Star and brightest star

February evenings are a grand time to see Sirius. It’s hard to miss as the brightest star in Earth’s sky. How to spot it, mythology, science, here.

Will Betelgeuse explode someday?

Yes, it will. 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.

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.

Aldebaran is the Bull’s fiery eye

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.

Achernar is the End of the River

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

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.