The 8 Brightest Stars In The Sky - What You Need To Know

The 8 Brightest Stars In The Sky - What You Need To Know

All of us humans adore watching the beautiful stars in the sky, right? Would you like to know which are the brightest stars in the sky, and what makes them so bright? Discover the science behind star brightness by reading on - we've compiled a list just for you!

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Stars In The Sky - What Determines a Star’s Brightness?

To begin with, we want to understand why some stars in the sky shine brighter than others. It's obvious that the closer they get, the brighter they are. In addition to its bright shine, our shiny little friends are visible in the night sky because of other factors too. There are several factors that determine the age and size of a star. The greater the star's size, the quicker it burns out, while the smaller the star, such as our Sun (yeah, the Sun is a SMALL star), can live for several billion years before it peacefully dies out, passes through a planetary nebula stage and becomes a white dwarf, and finally becomes a brown dwarf.

The brightest stars in the sky are going through their peak life cycle, and they are near us as well. So, in our starry night sky, who takes the top spot? Let’s explore 🔎

List Of The Brightest Stars in Our Night Sky

Brightest Stars In The Sky: Sirius A (Alpha Canis Majoris)

The shiniest star in the sky when it is dark at night is a smaller star that is best known for being Sirius or the Dog Star, but it is officially known as Alpha Canis Majoris because it is in the constellation Canis Major. Its name comes from the Greek word Seirios, which means 'glowing' or 'scorching' - a name that rightly fits this star because it is our number one star and the most luminous.

Brightest Stars In The Sky: Canopus (Alpha Carinae)

This star bears the name Canopus after the mythological figure who served as a navigator for Menelaus, king of Sparta. Located at a magnitude of -0.72, 309, it's part of the constellation Carina. We can see it from the Northern Hemisphere since it is 310 light-years away from our Sun.

Brightest Stars In The Sky: Rigil Kentaurus (Alpha Centauri)

With a distance of only 4.36 light-years from Earth, this star belongs to a star system closest to Earth, containing three stars, the brightest of which is Rigil Kentaurus. The constellation Centaurus contains this star with an apparent magnitude of -0.29. The southern hemisphere is the best place to look for it.

Brightest Stars In The Sky: Arcturus (Alpha Bootis)

Among the stars in the northern hemisphere, this one is the brightest. This star belongs to the constellation Bootes and is located 37 light-years away from the Earth. Its apparent magnitude is -0.04. Because it is near the Ursa Major (Big Bear), its name means "Bear Watcher" or "Guardian of the Bear.". An interesting fact about this star is that it is actually a red giant.

Brightest Stars In The Sky: Vega (Alpha Lyrae)

The Arabic word Vega literally means falling vulture. Located only 25.5 light-years away from Earth, it is the brightest star in the Lyra constellation with an apparent magnitude of +0.03. This star can be seen from the Northern Hemisphere.

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Brightest Stars In The Sky: Capella (Alpha Aurigae)

Northern Hemisphere winter evenings are bright with the star called - Capella. As the brightest point in the constellation Auriga the Charioteer, this star is known as Alpha Aurigae. Furthermore, Capella is at the northernmost end of the Winter Hexagon, a huge asterism or star pattern. Among the stars in our night sky, it's the sixth brightest.

Brightest Stars In The Sky: Rigel (Beta Orionis)

Although it is 860 light-years from Earth, Rigel (from Arabic - 'the left leg of the giant') is the brightest star of the constellation Orion. It has an apparent magnitude of +0.18 and shines so brightly because it is a Blue giant star. Those living in the Southern Hemisphere can observe it.

Brightest Stars In The Sky: Procyon (Alpha Canis Minoris)

As with Sirius, Procyon is also part of a binary star system with a dwarf twin. At a distance of 11.46 light-years from Earth, this star in the sky is located in the constellation Canis Minor. It has an apparent magnitude of +0.34 and is located in the Canis Minor constellation. From the Northern Hemisphere, this star can be seen.

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