What are the Brightest Stars in The Universe

What are the Brightest Stars in The Universe (that we know about)

By Jake Riley, SR Senior Editor

What makes stars bright?

Several factors contribute to the brightness of a star that can be seen from Earth’s surface. The main two factors are the size of the star and the distance from the earth. For instance, the Sun is the closest star to Earth, so therefore the Sun is the brightest star you can see. But what about the stars that can only be seen at night?

What is the brightest star in the sky at night?

You may have heard of Sirius Black, the character from Harry Potter who can transform into a dog. Well, Sirius Black got his name from the star Sirius also known as the Dog Star, which is the brightest star in the sky. Officially called Alpha Canis Majoris due to its position in the Canis Major constellation, Sirius means ‘glowing’ in Greek which is quite accurate as the only objects that outshine it are the International Space Station, some planets, and the full moon.

Sirius is located at a magnitude of -1.46 and is located with a right ascension at 6 hours 45 minutes 8.9 seconds, and declination of -16 degrees 42 minutes 58 seconds. You can easily see Sirius in the Northern Hemisphere due to it being relatively close to earth in comparison to other stars which are 8.6 light-years away and because of its mass which is two times that of our sun. However, it can also be seen from the Southern Hemisphere as it is located on the Celestial Equator.

Binary Star System: Sirius A and Sirius B

Sirius, in its entirety, is part of a Binary star system that contains two different starts, Sirius A and Sirius B. A A binary star system is when two stars orbit around a common center of mass making them gravitationally bound to each other. In 1862, astronomers realized that Sirius A had a second star gravitationally bound to it, which became known as Sirius B. Sirius B is 10,000 dimmer than its companion star and can not be seen by the naked eye. It is a dwarf star which is the last stage of visibility before it turns into a black dwarf star.

The top 10 brightest stars in the night sky.

The night sky is full of bright stars. The following ten stars are the brightest that can be seen from Earth in the night sky.

Sirius A (Alpha Canis Majoris)

Sirius A is located in the constellation Canis Major with an apparent magnitude of -1.5 and 8 light-years away from Earth. It can be seen from anywhere on our planet.

Canopus (Alpha Carinae)

Canopus is located in the constellation Carina and has a magnitude of -0.72, 309.8 light-years away from Earth. It is visible from the Northern Hemisphere.

Rigil Kentaurus (Alpha Centauri

Rigil Kentaurus is located in the constellation Centaurus and has a magnitude of -0.29, 4.36 light-years away from Earth. Rigil Kentaurus is visible from the Southern Hemisphere.

Arcturus (Alpha Bootis)

Archturus is located in the constellation Bootes with an apparent magnitude of -0.04, 37 light-years away. It can be seen from the Northern Hemisphere.

Vega (Alpha Lyrae)

Vega is located in the Lyra constellation with a magnitude of +0.03, 25.5 light-years away from Earth. Vega is visible from the Northern Hemisphere.

Capella (Alpha Aurigae)

Capella is located in the Auriga constellation and has an apparent magnitude of +0.08, 42 light-years away from Earth. It is visible from the Northern Hemisphere.

Rigel (Beta Orionis)

Rigel is located in the constellation Orion and has an apparent magnitude of +0.18, 860 light-years away from Earth. You can see it from the Southern Hemisphere.

Procyon (Alpha Canis Minoris)

Procyon is located in the Canis Minor constellation and has a magnitude of +0.34, 11.45 light-years away from Earth. It can be seen from the Northern Hemisphere.

Achernar (Alpha Eridani)

Achernar is located in the Eridanus constellation and has an apparent magnitude of +0.445, 114 light-years away from Earth. It is visible from the Southern Hemisphere.

Betelgeuse (Alpha Orionis)

Betelgeuse is located in the constellation Orion with a magnitude of +0.42, 640 light-years away from Earth. It can be viewed from the Northern Hemisphere.

Naming a star in the night sky
Exploring the universe can be exciting. Whether you enjoy viewing the brightest stars in the night sky or impressing your peers with the knowledge of binary star systems, why not go the extra mile and name a star yourself? After all, nothing is more impressive than pointing to a star named after you or a loved one in the sky? Take a look at some of our star packages and name a star today!
Frequently Asked Questions

Can I really name a star?

Yes, you can! Each order is unique to the Star Register and is recorded in the official Official register of Stars. We are one of the few legitimate Registries using advanced mapping software to assign your order.

What happens when I place my order:

Place your order on our order page and one of our experienced employees will handle everything else for you, this includes:
-Preparing relevant paperwork and electronic transmission of all necessary data to the Star register Database.
-Receipt of the response with the unique coordinates of your star
-Preparation of the star chart with the coordinates
-Preparation of the certificate and the gift Kit.

What's the difference between your different products:

We currently offer three products: (1) Deluxe (2) Supernova and (3) Twin. Each of this has it's own benefits and they can be compared on our homepage comparison chart.

How does the star chart work?

You can use the coordinates listed on your star chart to locate the star in the night sky or by searching our Official register of Stars which shows you a real photo of the star in the night sky.

Can I choose the constellation myself?

Yes, this is possible on the order form.

I can't open my order:

As our orders are digitally delivered, you can either open the kit in your browser or through Adobe Reader.

Is my order unique?

Yes. Every star coordinate is only allocated once, to a unique registration.

Where is my gift pack?

If you haven’t received the digital star pack by email within 24 hours please contact orders@starregister.org

How long is the delivery time?

We deliver by PDF within 24 hours via email. If you have not received your certificate within that time, please email orders@starregister.org

Is the star visible?

Yes, the easiest way to find the star is through the Official register of Stars. By entering the name it is easy to view the star in the night sky. However, it is also possible to find the location of the star using a telescope.

I am looking for general information about the product (cost, shipping method, payment method).

Please see our gift kit page.

I can’t manage to place an order (technical problem)!

Please send an email to orders@starregister.org

Can i have the details of my certificate changed?

Once we send the gift kit pack we aren't able to change it.