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.”
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Polaris, also known as the North Star, Alpha Ursae Minoris or Star of Arcady, is the brightest star in Ursa Minor constellation.
Polaris is notable for currently being the closest bright star to the North Celestial Pole. The pole marks true north, which makes the North Star important in navigation, as the star’s elevation above the horizon closely matches the observer’s latitude.
The North Star has a reputation for being bright, but it is not among the top 10 or even the top 40 brightest stars in the night sky. It is only the 48th brightest star, and owes its reputation to the fact that it is the nearest relatively bright (second magnitude) star to the North Celestial Pole.
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The asterism is often confused for the whole constellation, much like the Big Dipper is sometimes confused for Ursa Major, the Great Bear, but it is only the brightest part of the constellation.
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The Big Dipper is one of the most easily recognizable asterisms in the night sky, found in the constellation Ursa Major, the Great Bear. The star pattern, formed by the seven brightest stars of Ursa Major, is well-known in many cultures and goes by many other names, among them the Plough, the Great Wagon, Saptarishi, and the Saucepan. The Big Dipper is particularly prominent in the northern sky in the summer, and is one of the first star patterns we learn to identify.
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