Binary Stars

Spica

  • by
spica,alpha virginis,brightest star in virgo,virgo cluster

Spica, Alpha Virginis, is the brightest star in the southern constellation Virgo and the 16th brightest star in the sky.

It is a blue subgiant star located at a distance of 262 light years from Earth. Spica is really a close binary star system. It is one of the nearest massive binary stars to the solar system.

The name Spica (pronounced /ˈspaɪkə/) comes from the Latin phrase spīca virginis, meaning “Virgo’s ear of grain.” The Latin word spicum refers to the ear of wheat Virgo holds in her left hand. In Greek and Roman mythology, the constellation and the star were associated with Demeter (Ceres), the goddess of the harvest.
Read More »Spica

Capella

  • by

Capella, also known as Alpha Aurigae or the Goat Star, is the brightest star in Auriga and the sixth brightest star in the sky.

The only stars in the northern celestial hemisphere brighter than Capella are Arcturus in Boötes constellation and Vega in Lyra. The only other star visible from northern latitudes that is brighter than Capella is Sirius in the southern constellation Canis Major.

Capella is sometimes called the Goat Star because its name is derived from the diminutive of the Latin capra, meaning “female goat,” and means “the little goat.”
Read More »Capella

Northern Cross

  • by
northern cross stars,northern cross constellation

The Northern Cross is a prominent asterism formed by the brightest stars in the constellation Cygnus. The constellation is often confused for the asterism because the Northern Cross is much easier to find than the entire constellation.
Read More »Northern Cross

Antares

  • by
alpha scorpii,antares star system

Antares, also known as Alpha Scorpii or Cor Scorpii, is the brightest star in Scorpius and the 15th brightest star in the night sky. Antares is a class M red supergiant marking the heart of the celestial scorpion. It lies at a distance of 550 light years from Earth.

The star is often confused for Mars, the red planet, by observers because it lies within the zodiac, which contains the apparent path of the Sun and planets of the solar system, and the two sometimes appear in the same area of the sky.

Antares was named for its resemblance to Mars, as they both appear reddish in colour. The comparison may have originated with early Mesopotamian astronomers.
Read More »Antares