There are literally millions of stars in the night sky and the night sky is divided up into lots of constellations. But, to the naked eye there are only about 6,000 stars visible so this narrows things down a bit for us! And this 6,000 star number is under very dark skies and near perfect viewing conditions. And the vast majority of these stars are very very dim!
For practical purposes I have made this list up of some of the brighter and more colorful stars and what constellations they are in. These are the stars that stand out in the night sky and all of them are named. Note that they are the brightest for a couple of different reasons. A star could be one of the brightest because it is pretty close to us, or it could simply be a very bright star. Or a combination of the two! It could be very bright and very close!
There are a few interesting things to note when it comes to this list of stars:
- Two constellations top this list: Orion and The Southern Cross
- The Southern Cross tops the list with three of the brightest stars. You can only see this constellation from the southern hemisphere though! This leaves us in North America out!
- Orion is a very easily indentifiable constellation and it has three of these stars on the list.
- Both Alpha Centauri and Sirius are very interesting item on the list because to the naked eye they look like one star but in reality they are double stars and this is part of the reason why they are so bright- they have two stars contributing to their light.
- Checking out the colors of the brightest stars: Some of these stars are famous for their color, Sirius is a beautiful blue white, Aldebaran is a red/orange, Arcturus is orange and Deneb is blue.
|Mimosa||Crux (Southern Cross)|
|Acrux||Crux (Southern Cross)|
|Gacrux||Crux (Southern Cross)|