Describing and Measuring Stars

What are the brightest stars in the night sky?

The brightest stars in the night sky as viewed from Earth are Sirius, the “Dog Star,” in the constellation Canis Major (the Big Dog); Canopus, in the constellation Carina (the Keel); and Rigel Kentaurus, more commonly known as Alpha Centauri, in the constellation Centaurus (the Centaur). These three stars are not, however, the three stars in the night sky that emit the most light—they are the three stars that emit the most light onto Earth.

The table below lists the brightest stars we can see from Earth.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Astronomy Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App