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CosmosUp | April 23, 2021

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Top 5 Brightest Stars As Seen From Earth

By | On + -

5. Vega

Vega is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra the Harp. That’s why it’s often called the Harp Star. Observers in the Northern Hemisphere can see the star Vega come into view in the northeast in mid-evening in May. Look for this star in the very early evening in June – high overhead on autumn evenings – in the northwestern quadrant of the sky on December evenings.

Vega is easily recognizable for its brilliance and blue-white color. You can also easily pick out its constellation Lyra, which is small and compact, and consists primarily of Vega and four fainter stars in the form of a parallelogram.
The little constellation Lyra has some interesting features. Near Vega is Epsilon Lyrae, the famed “double-double” star. Between the Gamma and Beta stars is the famous Ring Nebula, visible in small telescopes.
Vega is one of three stars in an asterism – or noticeable star pattern – called the Summer Triangle to the early evening sky. The other two stars in the Triangle are Deneb and Altair. You can see the Summer Triangle in the evening beginning around June, through the end of each year.

Vega is the 5th brightest star visible from Earth, and the 3rd brightest easily visible from mid-northern latitudes, after Sirius and Arcturus. At about 25 light-years in distance, it is the 6th closest of all the bright stars, or 5th if you exclude Alpha Centauri, which is not easily visible from most of the Northern Hemisphere.

Vega’s distinctly blue color indicates a surface temperature of nearly 17,000 degrees F, making it about 7,000 degrees hotter than our sun. Roughly 2.5 times the diameter of the sun, and just less than that in mass, Vega’s internal pressures and temperatures are far greater than our sun, making it burn its fuel faster.

This causes Vega to produce 35-40 times the energy of the sun, which in turn shortens its lifetime. At about 500 million years, Vega is already middle-aged. Currently it is only about a tenth the age of our sun, and will run out of fuel in another half-billion years.

Full HD image here.
Source: Earthsky.

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  1. Anawra Hossain

    I Like to know which time of the year and at what position of the sky the bright stars are best viewed. I like your writing. Thanks

    • Riley


  2. A Subba

    Thanks it was very helpful.

  3. Riley

    Hi i used this for my science class and i really like it thanks!

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