Bright Stars

| Basic Celestial Phenomena | Constellations |

 

The 25 Brightest Stars

Heaven's utmost deep
Gives up her stars, and like a flock of sheep
They pass before his eye, are number'd, and roll on.

P. B. Shelley, Prometheus Unbound
(speaking of the astronomer's work)

After the Sun, which is the brightest star in our sky, the next brightest stars are listed below. (For comparison, the Sun is a G-2 (yellow) star about 8 light-minutes away, magnitude -26.72.)

What is apparent stellar Magnitude?
What is
Right Ascension?
What is
Declination?

Number

* Goto star projector

Star
(common
name)

Constellation

Magnitude

Right
Ascension

Declination

Type
(color)

Distance
(Light
Years)

1*

Sirius

a Canis Majoris

-1.46

6h 42m

-16° 39m

A1 (blue-white)

8.7

2*

Canopus

a Carinae

-0.72

6h 22m

-52° 40m

A9 (yellow-white)

74

3*

Arcturus

a Bootis

-0.04

14h 15m

+19

K2 (orange-red)

34

4

NA

a Centauri

-0.01

14h 40m

-61

G2 yellow

4.3

5

Vega

a Lyrae

0.03

18h 36m

+39

A0 (white)

25

6*

Capella

a Aurigae

0.08

5h 16m

+46

G6 (yellow)

41

7*

Rigel

b Orionis

0.12

5h 14m

-8

B8 (blue-white)

900?

8

Procyon

a Canis Minoris

0.38

7h 39m

+5

F5 (yellow-white)

11.4

9*

Betelgeuse

a Orionis

0.41

5h 54m

+7

M2 (red)

520?

10

Achernar

a Eridani

0.46

1h 37m

-57

B3 (blue-white)

69

11

Hadar

b Centauri

0.63

14h 03m

-60

B1 (blue)

320?

12

Altair

a Aquilae

0.77

19h 50m

+9

A7 (white)

16.5

13*

Aldebaran

a Tauri

0.85

4h 35m

+16

K5 (orange-red)

60

14

Antares

a Scorpii

0.92v

16h 28m

-26

M1 (red)

520?

15

Spica

a Virginis

1.0

13h 24m

-11

B1 (blue-white)

220

16

Pollux

b Geminorum

1.14

7h 45m

+28

K0 (orange-red)

40

17

Fomalhaut

a Piscis

1.16

22h 57m

-30

A3 (white)

22.6

18

Deneb

a Cygni

1.25

20h 41m

+45

A2 (white)

1600?

19

NA

b Crucis

1.28

12h 47m

-60

B0.5 (blue-white)

460?

20

NA

a Crucis

1.39

12h 26m

-63

B0.5 (blue-white)

510?

21

Regulus

a Leonis

1.35

10h 07m

+12

B7 (blue-white)

69

22

Adhara

e Canis Majoris

1.50

6h 58m

-29

B2 (blue-white)

570?

23

Shaula

l Scorpii

1.60

17h 33m

-37

B1 (bule-white)

330

24

Bellatrix

g- Orionis

1.64

5h 24m

+6

B2 (blue-white)

1400?

25

Elnath

b Tauri

1.65

5h 26m

+29

B7 (blue-white)

140