Astronomy and Space


Which stars are the brightest?

The brightness of a star is called its magnitude. Apparent magnitude is how bright a star appears to the naked eye. The lower the magnitude, the brighter the star. On a clear night, stars of about magnitude 16 can be seen with the naked eye. Large telescopes can detect objects as faint as 127. Very bright objects have negative magnitudes; the sun is –26.8.

Star Constellation Apparent Magnitude
Sirius Canis Major 1.47
Canopus Carina 0.72
Arcturus Boötes 0.06
Rigil Kentaurus Centaurus 0.01
Vega Lyra 0.04
Capella Auriga 0.05
Rigel Orion 0.14
Procyon Canis Minor 0.37
Betelgeuse Orion 0.41
Achernar Eridanus 0.51


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