Twelve Brightest Stars

The montage above shows the twelve brightest stars visible from locations in the Northern Hemisphere, as observed from my home near Hampshire, England.  Image © Greg Parker

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In addition, all but Capella, Vega and Deneb can be seen from the middle and low latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere.

Sirius, having a -1.46 apparent magnitude, is the brightest star visible in either hemisphere. The dimmest of the twelve stars featured here is Deneb, having a magnitude +1.25. Whether you live in Spain or South Africa, Canada or central Chile, if you step outside tonight a few hours after sunset, you should be able to see six of these brilliant stars (with a clear sky, of course): Sirius, Rigel, Procyon, Betelgeuse, Aldebaran, and Pollux. It’s interesting that the brightest stars aren’t all hot blue-white stars. Red/orange colored Arcturus, Betelgeuse and Aldebaran are among the top 12 brightest, as is the distinctly yellow Capella.

Summary Authors: Greg Parker; Jim Foster

source EPOD