10 Names of the Brightest Stars and Constellations in the Solar System

Star Names – Stars are celestial bodies that emit light as a result of nuclear fusion reactions and can produce energy in their cores. Who would have thought that the names of the stars turned out to be very diverse. Each of these stars has its own characteristics.

Meanwhile, constellations or constellations are a collection of stars that look like certain shapes in the sky and are named. The names of constellations usually take the names of objects, animals and people in the past. To this day, astronomers still use constellations to name stars and meteor showers, as quoted from NASA’s website.

Constellations are composed of stars that can be located far from each other, even though some are located close together. However, as seen from a distant Earth, the constellations appear close together and form an object, animal or person when connected by imagination and imaginary lines. Cultures around the world have different names for constellations and the number of constellations recorded in history. Currently, NASA has 88 officially recognized constellations.

Want to know what the names of the stars and constellations are? Let’s look at the following explanation, which is quoted from education.sains.lapan.go.id .

10 Names of Stars in the Solar System

1. Sirius – Alpha Canis Mayoris

Sirius is the brightest star. This name is taken from the Greek word ” Seirios ” which means “sparkling”. This star is in the constellation Canis Major. This star is known to be important to the civilizations of Ancient Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula which became a sign of the annual flooding of the Nile River. Sirius was originally a multiple blue star system (Sirius A and B).

One side of this star evolves first to become a red giant before finally turning into a white dwarf. Sirius A has a visual brightness of -1.47 and is included in the A1V spectrum which is a star sign that is on the main sequence and includes type A1 stars. Meanwhile, Sirius B has a visual brightness of +8.44 and is included in the DA2 spectral class, which means that this star is a white dwarf. The star Sirius is 8.6 light years away and is 1.7 and 1/120th the size of the sun, respectively.

2. Canopus – Alfa Carinae

The next star’s name is Canopus which is the second brightest star. The name ” Canopus ” is taken from a ship navigator named Canobus who worked with King Menelaus of Sparta during the Trojan War. This star is located in the constellation Carina. Canopus is included in the A911 spectrum, which means that this star is included in the bright giant star group (class II) with type A9. The star Canopus is 310 light years away and is 71 times the sun’s circumference.

The best sighting of Canopus was on December 28/29, when it was on the meridian at midnight. At that time, people living near the equator could see Canopus at about 37° above the southern horizon. For those in the southern hemisphere, it is possible to see the two brightest stars, Sirius and Canopus in one night. If Sirius could be seen around the zenith, he could definitely see Canopus to the south. For those living at latitudes higher than 37°18’15” S, Canopus would be a circumpolar star, that is, a star that never sets.

3. Alpha Centauri

The name of the star in the sky is Alpha Centauri. This star has a multiple star system with each part orbiting a certain point. This star takes 80 years to orbit that point. The two stars are 35.6 to 11.2 astronomical units apart. The two Alpha Centauri stars have a shape similar to the sun because they are located on the main sequence (class V) with star types G and K. Alpha Centauri has a distance of 4.4 light years with a size of 1.22 and 0.86 times the sun.

With a combined magnitude of -0.27, Alpha Centauri appears as a single star in the night sky when viewed with the unaided eye, the third brightest, less bright than Sirius and Canopus. With a declination of -60°50′, Alpha Centauri is visible to most of those who live in the Southern Hemisphere. For those living at latitudes higher than 29°10′ south, Alpha Centauri will be a circumpolar star. It is best seen in late April or early May, when it is around the meridian at midnight. Together with Beta Centauri, Alpha Centauri became ”a pointer to Crux”. By this pointer one can distinguish it from fake crux.

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“Alpha Centauri” (“Rigil Centaurus”) is the name given to the brightest object in the constellation Centaurus that is visible to the naked eye as a single star. With the help of telescopes, the object can be detected as a multiple star system, called “Alpha Centauri AB”, and often abbreviated as “α Centauri AB” or “α Cen AB”, with the main (brightest) component called “Alpha Centauri A (α Cen A)” and the second component is called “Alpha Centauri B (α Cen B)”.

There is a third component separated by 2.18° from system AB, called “Proxima Centauri”, or simply “Proxima”, or “α Cen C”. This separation is so much greater than that of components A and B that if Proxima Centauri were bright enough to be seen with the naked eye, it would appear as a separate star from the α Cen AB system. Alpha Centauri AB and Proxima Centauri form a double star system, which is assumed to be gravitationally associated with the α Cen AB system. Direct evidence that Proxima has the elliptical orbit typical of multiple stars has yet to be found.

4. Arcturus – Alpha Bootis

The name of the next star is Arcuturus. The name comes from Ancient Greek, from the word Arktouros which means bear keeper. This star is north of the celestial equator. Arcturus is 37 light years away and is 25 times the size of the sun. This star is classified as a class III giant star and is of type K0.

Given its proximity to the celestial equator, Arcturus is visible to almost everyone on Earth, except for those living above latitude 70.818° south. It is best seen around April, when this star reaches the meridian at midnight.

Arcturus is a red giant star with the spectral class K1.5 IIIpe. The “pe” suffix stands for “peculiar emission”, indicating that the light spectrum is unusual and full of emission lines. The presence of emission lines in the spectrum of red giants is actually commonplace, but in the case of Arcturus the phenomenon appears to be stronger.

Visually, Arcturus is at least 110 times brighter than the sun, but it actually emits 180 times more energy. This is due to its low brightness efficacy because its surface temperature is lower than that of the Sun.

Arcturus is known for its great self-motion, greater than any 1st magnitude star other than α Centauri. Currently, Arcturus is almost at its closest point to the Sun, and is moving very fast (122 km/sec) relative to the solar system. Arcturus is an old star in the disk of the Milky Way and appears to move together in a group of 52 similar stars. Its mass is difficult to estimate, but it is probably equal to the mass of the sun, but no more than 1.5 times. With this mass, Arcturus means it is older than the sun, and describes what the sun looks like when it reaches the red giant phase.

Based on the measurements of the Hipparcos Satellite, Arcturus is 43.9 light years (11.3 parsecs) from Earth, which is relatively close on an astronomical scale. Hipparcos also suggested Arcturus was a multiple star system, with a secondary component that was 20 times fainter and orbited close enough to be within our ability to detect it. Recent research results are inconclusive, but support the marginal detection of Hipparcos.

5. Vega – Alfa Lyrae

Vega is the name of the next star which is no less bright than the previous star. The initial star has a visual brightness of +0.03 and is included in the A0Va spectrum class group. Which means this star belongs to the main sequence (Class V) and is of type A0. This star, which also means a fallen eagle, is 25 light years away and is 2.4 times the size of the sun. This star never rises at latitude 51o LS or more and never sets at latitude 51o LU or more.

Vega has the spectral class A0V, and thus is a main sequence star burning hydrogen to helium in its core. As an A0V class star, Vega will only shine for one billion years, one tenth of the lifetime of the Sun. Vega’s current age is estimated to be between 200 and 500 million years. Vega is twice as massive as the sun and emits 50 times more energy. Vega is also a very fast rotating star.

Due to the precession effect on Earth’s rotation, in about the year 14,000, Vega will become the North Star. For a long time, Vega has been the standard star in absolute photometric calibration by astronomers. Vega’s apparent magnitude is defined as zero for all wavelengths.

6. Capella – Alfa Aurigae

Capella became the name of another star in the sky. The name is taken from Latin which means little goat. Capella is a quartet star with two pairs of binary stars, namely Capella Aa with Capella Ab and Capella H with Capella L. Capella’s star has a distance of 43 light years with a different size from each of the star pairs. The size of Capella Aa and Ab is 2.4 sun times, while Capella H and L are only 0.54 sun times.

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7. Rigel – Beta Orionis

The name of the seventh star is Rigel. The name was adopted from the Direction Language ” Rijil Al-Jauzah ” or ” Rijil Al-Jabbar ” which means “foot of the hunter (orion)”. The name is a triple star consisting of Rigel A or Algebar, Rigel B, and Rigel C. This star, which is located in the constellation Orion, has a distance of 860 light years with the largest being 79 times the size of the sun. The largest size is owned by the star Rigel A.

8. Procyon – Alfa Canis Minoris

Another star that is no less bright than Rigel is Procyon. This star name comes from the Ancient Greek meaning before or after the dog. Procyon is a binary star consisting of Procyon A and B. The combined brightness of the two is +0.34. This star is 11.5 light years away. It is twice as solar for Procyon A and 1/80 as solar for Procyon B.

9. Achernar – Alfa Eridani

The name Achernar is taken from the Arah language which means the end or downstream of a river. This star is located in the constellation Eridaus. Achernar is 139 light away and is 11.4 times the size of the sun. This star is included in the B6Vep spectrum class. This means that the star is on the main sequence (class V) with a variable star type BE. Achernar can also rotate very quickly so that it has a more oblate shape at the poles with a shorter polar radius than the equator.

10. Betelgeuse – Alpha Orionis

The name of the 10th star is Betelgeuse. This star is located in the constellation Orion with a visual brightness between +0.0 to +1.6. Betelgeuse is a reddish semiregular variable star that has the widest range of brightness compared to first magnitude stars. Its brilliance makes Betelgeuse a red giant star. It is about 548 light years away and is 764 times the size of the sun. Betelgeuse is also a large star that can be seen without special tools.

88 Constellation Names

Quoted from the official NASA website, here are 88 names of constellations in Latin and their meanings.

  1. Andromeda, princess of Ethiopia.
  2. Antlia, air pump.
  3. Apus, heavenly bird.
  4. Aquarius, water bearer.
  5. Aquila, eagle.
  6. Ara, altar.
  7. Aries, Ram.
  8. Auriga, coachman.
  9. Bootes, shepherd.
  10. Caelum, engraver.
  11. Camelopardalis, giraffe.
  12. Cancer, crab.
  13. Canes Venatici, hunting dog.
  14. Canis Major, large dog.
  15. Canis Minor, small dog.
  16. Capricorn, sea goat.
  17. Carina, base ship of the Argonauts.
  18. Cassiopeia, queen of Ethiopia.
  19. Centaurus, Centaurus (human mythological creature with horse legs and body).
  20. Cepheus, king of Ethiopia.
  21. Cetus, water monster (whale).
  22. Chamaeleon, chameleon.
  23. Circinus, compass.
  24. Columba, dove.
  25. Coma Berenices, Berenice hair.
  26. Corona Australis, southern crown.
  27. Corona Borealis, crown of the north.
  28. Corvus, raven.
  29. Craters, cups.
  30. Crux, cross or cross (south).
  31. Cygnus, goose.
  32. Delphinus, dolphin.
  33. Dorado, swordfish.
  34. Draco, dragon.
  35. Equuleus, little horse.
  36. Eridanus, river.
  37. Fornax, fireplace.
  38. Gemini, twins.
  39. Grus, stork.
  40. Hercules, Hercules (son of Zeus).
  41. Horologium, clock.
  42. Hydra, sea snake.
  43. Hydrus, water snake.
  44. Indus, native Asian or American people.
  45. Lacerta, lizard.
  46. Leo, lion.
  47. Leo Minor, the little lion.
  48. Lepus, hare (similar to rabbit).
  49. Libra, scales.
  50. Lupus, wolf.
  51. Lynx, lynx (bobcat).
  52. Lyra, lyre or harp.
  53. Mensa, table mountain.
  54. Microscopium, microscope.
  55. Monoceros, unicorns.
  56. Musca, flies.
  57. Norma, artisan leveling.
  58. Octans, octane/quadrant.
  59. Ophiuchus, snake holder.
  60. Orion, hunter.
  61. Pavo, peacock.
  62. Pegasus, Pegasus (flying horse).
  63. Perseus, Perseus (the hero who saved Andromeda).
  64. Phoenix, Phoenix.
  65. Pictor, easel (backboard/canvas).
  66. Pisces, fish.
  67. Piscis Austrinus, southern fish.
  68. Puppis, stern of the Argonauts.
  69. Pyxis, the compass of the Argonauts.
  70. Reticulum, net.
  71. Sagitta, arrow.
  72. Sagittarius, archer.
  73. Scorpius, scorpion.
  74. Sculptor, sculpting tool.
  75. Scutum, King Sobiescianium’s shield.
  76. Serpent, snake.
  77. Sextants, Sextants.
  78. Taurus, bull.
  79. Telescope, telescope.
  80. Triangulum, triangle.
  81. Triangulum Australe, south triangle.
  82. Tucana, toucan.
  83. Ursa Major, big bear.
  84. Ursa Minor, little bear.
  85. Vela, sail of the Argonauts.
  86. Virgo, holy woman.
  87. Volans, flying fish.
  88. Vulpecula, fox.

The constellations in the night sky appear to shift westward with the time of year. This is because the earth revolves around the sun in a year, the view of the sky as seen from the house will change as the earth orbits. A person’s location on earth also determines what constellations are visible and how high they appear in the sky.

The northern hemisphere always points in a different direction than the southern hemisphere. This means that stargazers in Indonesia will see a slightly different view of the sky and be able to see several different constellations from people in the United States.