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Star watching was humankind’s first TV and, even today, can be fascinating to watch for hours. But, like television, an up to date TV guide is essential. Think of this as a “Cable Channel Lineup” menu – for the world’s brightest stars!
Fun Facts: Achernar is also known as the Blue Star. It’s twice as big around the equator as at its poles because it spins so fast.
No, not the Michael Keaton character. This Betelgeuse can’t be summoned up by repeating its name three times. And, that’s good thing. If Betelgeuse were our own Sun, it would swallow up the Earth – and the other 3 near-Sun planets (Mars, Venus and Mercury) because it’s nearly 400 times the size!
Fun Facts: Procyon is our closest star, at a mere 12 light years away. It’s also not one, but TWO stars because what we see is a combination of it and a White Dwarf known as Procyon-B.
Fun Facts: As Rigel makes its way around the solar system it ignites a nearby stellar cloud known as the Witch Head Nebula. It’s also the star that the Moai people faced when making their famous heads on Easter Island.
Fun Facts: Because of its erratic orbital path, Capella is spinning away from us. If cavemen looked up in the sky 200,000 years ago, it would have been the second most visible star in the sky.
Fun Facts: In 13,000 years, Vega will replace Polaris as our North Star. If you use a powerful telescope, you’ll see rings around Vega (like Saturn) that atr made up of a nearby orbiting dust cloud.
Fun Facts: Arcturus is a “dead” star, having used up most of its hydrogen fuel. It was also the first “daytime” star observed through a telescope in 1635.
Fun Facts: Up until 1910, Alpha Centauri was known as (Yikes!) Bungula. It’s also proposed as the likely first destination for human space travel and exploration due to its being closest to Earth.
Fun Facts: Due to its southern location, Canopus was not known to the ancient Greeks. Thus, it was first recorded in history by ancient Egyptian astronomers.
Fun Facts: Also known as the “Dog” star, Sirius is the brightest star in our night sky. And, because of its orbit, it’s actually getting closer, and brighter. Don’t expect to see it up close and personal any time soon, though. It will make its closest pass around 60,000 years from now…