Aldebaran, also known as Alpha Tauri, is an orange giant star in the constellation Taurus. Taurus represents the celestial bull, and the location of Aldebaran represents the eye of the bull. It is the brightest star in Taurus and the 14th brightest star in the night sky.
Within our galaxy, the Milky Way, many of our nearest stars are easily visible by the naked eye, even some that are not so bright. It is possible to identify many of the brighter Stars by their position or the shapes and patterns they make as part of a constellation or asterism. One of the more interesting stars we can see, is the Algol star.
Alnilam is a large variable blue supergiant star, located in the Constellation of Orion, which is located on the celestial equator and visible from across much of the northern and southern hemisphere night sky. It appears as a single star to the naked eye, but is actually a hot double supergiant star.
The Alnitak Star is a blue-white supergiant star (c LBV) and is estimated to be the 33rd most luminous star of all the known stars. Its luminosity is the amount of energy emitted from this giant star relative to the Sun. It is measured as having a luminosity of 78,179.80 times brighter than the Sun. Alnilam is regarded as the brightest class O Star in the night sky.
The Alpha Centauri triple star system is located in the Centaurus constellation only about 4.37 light-years away from the Sun. This makes it the nearest star system to us. It is composed of the binary stars Alpha Centauri AB and the third star Alpha Centauri C.
The star Altair (Alpha Aquilae) is a white-hued star located in the equatorial constellation of Aquila the Eagle. Aside from being the brightest star in its constellation, it is also the 12th brightest star in our night sky.
Altair is one of the stars that make up the famous Summer Triangle asterism together with other bright stars—Deneb and Vega.
Antares is a very large star located in the southern sky. This red supergiant is also called Alpha Scorpii ( α Scorpii) and it is the brightest star in the constellation of Scorpius. It lies near the center of Scorpius. And with its reddish hue, is often dubbed the “heart of the scorpion.”
The star Arcturus, also known as Alpha Boötis, is a star in the Boötes constellation in the northern sky. It is the brightest star in Boötes and the fourth brightest star in the night sky, with an apparent magnitude of -0.05. This also makes it the brightest star in the northern celestial hemisphere, outshining Vega and Capella.
Bellatrix, also known as Gamma Orionis, is the third brightest star in Orion constellation, after Rigel and Betelgeuse. It is the 26th brightest star in the sky and has an apparent magnitude that varies from 1.59 to 1.64. It is one of the most easily recognisable stars, best seen in December and January.
Betelgeuse is a red supergiant star located in the equatorial constellation of Orion the Hunter. Also known as Alpha Orionis, it is the second-brightest star in the constellation after the blue supergiant Rigel.
Aside from its unique name, the variable nature of Betelgeuse makes it an equally interesting subject for star studies and observations.
Canopus, also known as Alpha Carinae, is the brightest star in Carina constellation and the second brightest star in the night sky, only fainter than Sirius. It has an apparent magnitude of -0.72. The name Canopus comes from the Greek name Κάνωβος (Kanôbos), first recorded in Ptolemy’s Almagest (150 AD).
Capella is the brightest star in the northern constellation of Auriga “the Charioteer.” It is the sixth brightest star in our night sky. This multiple star system is most prominent during the winter months as it is part of the famous Winter Hexagon asterism.
Fomalhaut is part of the southern constellation of Piscis Austrinus or the “Southern Fish.” With a magnitude of 1.16, it is the brightest star in the said constellation and the 18th brightest in the night sky. This white star is also known as Alpha Piscis Austrinus.
When you look up into a clear night sky from Earth you will see many bright Stars. It is estimated that there are that there are around a septillion stars (that’s a massive 1 with 24 zeros behind it) in the observable universe and galaxies, although none of those outside of our own galaxy are visible by unaided eye. A handful of these are known as navigational stars, used by sailors and astronomers over the centuries. The Markab star is one of these.
The Pistol star sits bright and proud in the border of the constellation of Sagittarius. Sitting in a nebulae that shares the same name, this blue hypergiant is considered a young giant, and is a very luminous star.
Polaris, also known as the North Star, Alpha Ursae Minoris or Star of Arcady, is the brightest star in Ursa Minor constellation. It is notable for being the closest bright star to the North Celestial Pole.
Procyon is a binary star system located in the northern constellation of Canis Minor the Lesser Dog. It is the brightest point in its constellation and the eighth brightest star in our night sky. This star is one of the vertices that make up the Winter Triangle and Winter Hexagon asterisms.
Regulus, also known as Alpha Leonis, is the brightest star in the constellation Leo and the 21st brightest star in the night sky. It has an apparent magnitude of 1.35 and is not actually a single star, but a multiple star system.
Rigel is a blue supergiant which is also known as Beta Orionis. It is the brightest star in the constellation of Orion the Hunter and it is the seventh-brightest star overall. In the night sky, we can easily identify this star spot as the bright spot that marks Orion’s left foot.
Sirius, also known as Alpha Canis Majoris, is the brightest star in the constellation of Canis Major, located in the southern sky, and overall the brightest star in the night sky. It has an apparent magnitude of 1.46, making it twice as bright as Canopus, the second brightest star in Canis Major.
Spica, also known as Alpha Virginis, is the brightest star in the southern constellation Virgo and the 16th brightest star in the night sky. It has an apparent magnitude of 1.04, that can vary between 0.97 and 1.04. Its absolute magnitude is -3.55. The name Spica comes from the Latin phrase spīca virginis, meaning “Virgo’s ear of grain”.
Within our galaxy, the Milky Way, many of our nearest stars are easily visible by the naked eye. One such star which is relatively easy to recognise and the focus of this post, is Tarf (β Cancri)
Tau Ceti is a main-sequence G-type star in the Cetus constellation. Its spectrum reveals similarities to the Sun or Sol, making it an interesting target in studies and observations. With that, it is often called a “solar analog” or a “solar twin.”
It is possible to identify many of the brightest Stars by their position or their shapes and patterns they make as part of a constellation or asterism. The star we are interested in is Terebellum, which lies within the constellation of Sagittarius.
The star Thuban is known as Alpha Draconis in the Bayer designation. It is not the brightest star in the constellation of Draco the Dragon. However, it is significant because of its location near the celestial pole of the north.
The star Vega, also known as Alpha Lyrae, is the brightest star in Lyra constellation and the fifth brightest star in the sky. It is the second brightest star in the northern hemisphere and is only fainter than Sirius in Canis Major, Canopus in Carina, Alpha Centauri in Centaurus and Arcturus in Boötes constellation.
VY Canis Majoris, often abbreviated to VY CMa, is an extremely large red hypergiant (RHG) or red supergiant (RSG) located in the constellation Canis Major. It is one of the largest known stars, is one of the most luminous and massive red supergiants, as well as one of the most luminous stars in the Milky Way.