Bright Stars

It’s always a good idea to learn the brightest stars, and this time of year, three of the brightest ones hug the horizon. Orange Arcturus, the brightest star in Boötes the Ploughman at magnitude 0.15, twinkles brightly low in the west after sunset. It’s the fourth brightest star in all the night sky. White Fomalhaut in Piscis Austrinus the Southern Fish is low in the south, and never gets very high for Canadians. It’s only the 18th brightest star, but dominates its sparse neighbourhood. It’s also the first star whose exo-planet was directly imaged! In early evening, bright yellow Capella sits low in the northeast, ready to begin its nightly passage of the heavens. Leading the great starry ring of the constellation Auriga the Charioteer, it’s the sixth brightest star in the heavens. Finally, the three bright blue white stars of the Summer Triangle, namely Deneb, Vega, and Altair, still fly overhead. Got these? Good, because the bright beacons of winter are just around the corner!

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