What are the brightest stars seen from earth?
If you have ever looked up at some of the brightest stars in the sky and wondered what their origins were, a star map may help you to name some of these top celestial bodies when you look up. Knowing some of the brightest stars in the sky can easily help you reorient yourself, navigate and improve your abilities as an amateur astronomer. Here are some of the brightest stars that you can see from Earth throughout the year and where to find them:
Sirius: This star is located just to the south of the celestial equator and its visible almost everywhere on the planet. It is sometimes called the dog Star and it was one of the most important stars for navigation and in agricultural civilizations. This star goes back as far as ancient Egypt when it was able to mark the beginning of the Nile flood. This star is surprisingly not one of the closest to us either. It is a large star located around 8 ly from Earth and it is the main star in the Canis Major constellation.
Canopus: This is the second brightest star in the sky and it can often be found in the southern hemisphere. This star will never set below the horizon in the southern hemisphere and it's not visible anywhere in Europe or Northrup 20° latitude. It's known for its yellowish and white pigment and it is often easy to pick out of the sky on a clear night. It is named after the pilot of the ship of King Menelaus.
Rigil Kentaurus (Alpha Centauri): As the third brightest star in the sky this is a widely recognized star in a system that can't generally be seen with the naked eye. This star is quite close at 4.36 ly from our solar system and it is the closest secondary star to our own sun. Alpha Centauri is a smaller red star and it's usually only visible through a powerful telescope.
If you are looking up and wondering about the stars you are seeing in the sky, if you can pick out some of these bright stars you can often find your way to some of the most recognizable clusters on earth.