Moons page — updated on February 16th, 2017

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Brightest Star in Every Constellation

The following Little Astronomy Blog post comprehensively lists every brightest star for each of the 88 constellations! Each star's name is listed in parentheses next to its respective constellation, followed by the apparent magnitude — visibility to the human eye. Values come from WolframAlpha.

Andromeda — Alpheratz     (2.07)
Antlia — α Antliae     (4.28)
Apus — α Apodis     (3.83)
Aquarius — Sadalsuud     (2.87)
Aquila — Altair     (0.76-0.77)
Ara — α Arae     (2.84)
Aries — Hamal     (2.01)
Auriga — Capella     (0.08)

Boötes — Arcturus     (-0.05)

Caelum — α Caeli     (4.44)
Camelopardalis — β Camelopardalis     (4.03)
Cancer — Al Tarf (Tarf)     (3.53)
Canes Venatici — Cor Caroli (Asterion)     (2.89)
Canis Major — Sirius, brightest star in the night sky (-1.44, -1.46)
Canis Minor — Procyon (0.4)
Capricornus — Deneb Algiedi (2.85)
Carina — Canopus, 2nd-brightest star in the night sky (-0.62 to -0.74)
Cassiopeia — usually Schedar (Shedir) (2.24)
...but sometimes Tsih (up to 1.6 and a minimum of 3.0)
Centaurus — α Centauri (Rigel Kent), 3rd-brightest star in the night sky (-0.01)
Cepheus — Alderamin (2.45)
Cetus — Deneb Kaitos ("whale's tail") (2.02-2.04)
Chamaeleon — α Chamaeleontis (4.05)
Circinus — α Circini (3.18-3.21)
Columba — Phact (2.65)
Coma Berenices — β Comae Berenices (4.23)
Corona Australis — Alphekka Meridiana & β Coronae Australis (both about 4.1)
Corona Borealis — Alphekka (Alphecca) (2.21-2.32)
Corvus — Gienah (2.58)
Crater — δ Crateris (3.56)
Crux — Acrux (0.77)
Cygnus — Deneb (1.21-1.29)

Delphinus — Rotanev (3.6)
Dorado — α Doradus (3.3)
Draco — Etamin (2.24)

Equuleus — Kitalpha (3.92)
Eridanus — Achernar (0.45)

Fornax — α Fornacis (3.8)

Gemini — Pollux (1.14, 1.16)
Grus — Alnair (1.73-1.74)

Hercules — Kornephoros (2.78)
Horologium — α Horologii (3.85)
Hydra — Alphard (1.99)
Hydrus — β Hydri (2.82)

Indus — α Indi (3.11)

Lacerta — α Lacertae (2.76-2.777)
Leo — Regulus (1.36)
Leo Minor — Praecipua (46 Leonis Minoris, HIP 53229) (3.79-3.83)
Lepus — Arneb (2.58)
Libra — Zubeneshamali (2.61)
Lupus — α Lupi (2.3)
Lynx — α Lyncis (3.14)
Lyra — Vega (0.03)

Mensa — α Mensae (5.08)
Microscopium — γ Microscopii (4.67)
Monoceros — β Monocerotis (3.76)
Musca — α Muscae (2.68-2.73)

Norma — γ2 Normae (4.01)

Octans — ν Octantis (3.73-3.76)
Ophiuchus — Rasalhague (2.08)
Orion — Rigel (0.18)

Pavo — Peacock (α Pavonis) (1.94)
Pegasus — Enif (usually 2.38, but varies from 0.7 to 3.5)
Perseus — Mirphak (1.79)
Phoenix — Ankaa (2.4)
Pictor — α Pictoris (3.24-3.3)
Pisces — η Piscium (3.62)
Piscis Austrinus — Fomalhaut (1.15-1.17)
Puppis — Naos (2.21-2.25)
Pyxis — α Pyxidis (3.68)

Reticulum — α Reticulii (3.33)

Sagitta — γ Sagittae (3.51)
Sagittarius — Kaus Australis (1.79-1.85)
Scorpius — Antares (0.88-1.16)
Sculptor — α Sculptoris (4.3)
Scutum — α Scuti (3.85)
Serpens — Unukalhai (2.62-2.63)
Sextans — α Sextantis (4.48)

Taurus — Aldebaran (0.87)
Telescopium — α Telescopii (3.49)
Triangulum — β Trianguli (3.0)
Triangulum Australe — Atria (1.91)
Tucana — α Tucanae (2.87)

Ursa Major — Alioth (1.76-1.78)
Ursa Minor — Polaris ("North Star") (1.97)

Vela — Regor (1.74)
Virgo — Spica (0.95-1.1)
Volans — β Volantis (3.77)
Vulpecula — α Vulpeculae (4.44)

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Blog Background

The background has three Hubble Space Telescope images, which are accessible at this Hubble webpage: Hubblesite.org/categories/images.

— LH 95 is a star-forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud, Dorado constellation.

— Ant Nebula (also called Menzel 3) is an aptly-named planetary nebula located in the constellation Norma.
— Egg Nebula (also called CL 2688) is a protoplanetary nebula in the constellation Cygnus.

HubbleSite Image Links: LH 95, Ant Nebula, and Egg Nebula