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The 25 brightest stars

Star

Name

RA

Dec

Apparent visual magnitude

Distance (Ly)

Spectral Type

Absolute visual magnitude

(1980.0)

(1980.0)

The Sun -26.72 G2V 4.85
1 Alpha CMa Sirius 06 44.2 -16 42 -1.46 8.7 A1V +1.4
2 Alpha Car Canopus 06 23.5 -52 41 - -0.72 98.0 F0Ib-II -3.1
3 Alpha Boo Arcturus 14 14.8 +19 17 -0.06 36.0 K2IIIp -0.3
4 Alpha Cen Rigil Kent 14 38.4 -60 46 0.01 4.2 G2V +4.4
5 Alpha Lyr Vega 18 36.2 +38 46 0.04 26.5 A0V +0.5
6 Alpha Aur Capella 05 15.2 +45 59 0.05 45.0 G8III? -0.6
7 Beta Ori Rigel 05 13.6 -08 13 0.14 900.0 B8Ia -7.1
8 Alpha CMi Procyon 07 38.2 +05 17 0.37 11.4 F5IV-V +2.6
9 Alpha Ori Betelgeuse 05 54.0 +07 24 0.41 520.0 M2Iab -5.6
10 Alpha Eri Achenar 01 37.0 -57 20 0.51 118.0 B3Vp -2.3
11 Beta Cen Hadar 14 02.4 -60 16 0.63 490.0 B1III -5.2
12 Alpha Aql Altair 19 49.8 +08 49 0.76 16.5 A7IV-V +2.2
13 Alpha Tau Aldebaran 04 34.8 +16 28 0.86 68.0 K5III -0.7
14 Alpha Vir Spica 13 24.1 -11 03 0.91 220.0 B1V -3.3
15 Alpha Sco Antares 16 28.2 -26 23 0.92 520.0 M1Ib -5.1
16 Alpha PsA Fomalhaut 22 56.5 -29 44 1.15 22.6 A3V +2.0
17 Beta Gem Pollux 07 44.1 +28 05 1.16 35.0 K0III +1.0
18 Alpha Cyg Deneb 20 40.7 +45 12 1.26 1600.0 A2Ia -7.1
19 Beta Cru 12 46.6 -59 35 1.28 490.0 B0.5III -4.6
20 Alpha Leo Regulus 10 07.3 +12 04 1.36 84.0 B7V -0.7
21 Alpha Cru Acrux 12 25.4 -62 59 1.39 370.0 B0.5IV -3.9
22 Epsilon CMa Adhara 06 57.8 -28 57 1.48 680.0 B2II -5.1
23 Lambda Sco Shaula 17 32.3 -37 05 1.60 310.0 B1V -3.3
24 Gamma Ori Bellatrix 05 24.0 +06 20 1.64 470.0 B2III -4.2
25 Beta Tau Elnath 05 25.0 +28 36 1.65 300.0 B7III -3.2

Notes.


Sirius is the brightest star in the sky. Sirius B is a white dwarf, as is Procyon B. They have about the same mass as the Sun but are only about one fiftieth of its diameter.

Apart from the Sun, Alpha Cen is the closest star in the sky. It has two components A and B which are close together and can only be seen separately in a small telescope. The third component, called Proxima, which is a faint star well separated from A and B is the closest of the three.

The spectral types indicate the temperature and luminosity of the star. The temperatures, from hottest to coolest run from classes O to M in the order O-B-A-F-G-K-M. In each class there are subclasses from 0 to 9. The luminosities are indicated by roman numerals with I being a supergiant, III a giant and V a dwarf.

The brightest known stars in our galaxy are very luminous red supergiants. They have spectral types M0-8 Ia+ and absolute magnitudes of -9 to -10 (about 4,000,000 times as bright as the Sun. They are believed to have masses about 30 times that of the Sun.

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