Alphecca. Gemma. Alpha Coronae Borealis or simply Alpha Cor Bor. They’re all names for one star – the brightest star in the constellation Northern Crown.
Many people think Polaris is the sky’s brightest star. In fact, Polaris ranks only 50th in brightness. Still, Polaris is famous because the entire northern sky wheels around it.
Thuban was the Pole Star some 5,000 years ago, when the Egyptians were building the pyramids.
Spica’s 2 stars orbit a common center of gravity in only 4 days. Their mutual gravity distorts each star into an egg shape, with the pointed ends facing each other.
We see this nearly star system as a single star in our sky, but it’s really 3 stars. Of the 3, Proxima is closer to our sun than any other known star.
Beta Centauri – aka Hadar – joins Alpha Centauri in pointing to the Southern Cross. Like Alpha, Beta Centauri is also 3 stars, but 2 of Beta’s stars will someday become nearby supernovae.
Cor Caroli is a binary star and the brightest star in the northern constellation Canes Venatici, the Hunting Dogs. Its name means Heart of Charles.
You have to go far south on Earth’s globe to see the Southern Cross. Bluish Acrux, aka Alpha Crucis, is its brightest star.
Alphard – Heart of the Snake in constellation Hydra – is ascending in the east in the evening now, a sign of spring coming.
Canopus is the 2nd-brightest star in the sky, and it’s easy to spot on February evenings, if …
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.
February evenings are a great time to see Sirius. It’s hard to miss the brightest star in Earth’s sky. More about the Dog Star, plus how to spot it
Yes, it will. 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.
We see Capella as the brightest star in the constellation Auriga the Charioteer. It’s really 2 stars, each with a golden color similar to our sun.
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.
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.
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 isn’t bright. But it moves exceptionally rapidly against the background of more distant stars. Its motion reveals its nearness to Earth.
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 its fainter companion star Alcor are easy to spot in the Big Dipper’s handle.
Andromeda, Jupiter, Milky Way over Montana
We go between the sun and Jupiter June 10