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STARS and STAR OF THE WEEK

Updated Each Friday With A New Star

Star Count: 850

Created by Jim Kaler, Prof. Emeritus of Astronomy, University of Illinois

This week's star is 17 Com (17 Comae Berenices).

Scroll down for the past 10 stars, Places to Go, and the complete stellar archive.

Welcome! STARS presents a comprehensive suite of pages that tell the stories of stars and their constellations. Please explore and enjoy. The stars listed below have all appeared as a Star of the Week on Skylights. The first five tables list the stars alphabetically by proper name (where available, otherwise by Greek letter name, catalogue number, or variable star designation). Stars known principally by Flamsteed number are listed in the sixth table. The last table then arranges the stars by Greek letter name within their parent constellations, which are linked to labelled photographs that show the stars' locations.

STARS now contains:

Notes to readers: The temperatures of the stars are in degrees Kelvin, which are centigrade (Celsius) degrees above absolute zero, -273 degrees C (-459 degrees F). Stellar and orbital radii are commonly given in Astronomical Units, where the AU is the average distance between the Earth and Sun (technically the semi-major axis of the Earth's orbit), equal to 150 million kilometers or 93 million miles, or in solar radii, where the solar radius is 696,000 km (432,000 miles). Stellar distances are in light years, where the light year is the distance light travels in one year, equal to 63,270 AU (and 0.3066 parsecs, where the parsec equals 206,265 AU, 3.2616 light years). Unless a star is too far away, or is determined by other more precise means, its distance is taken from the Hipparcos parallax catalogue, using the second reduction after July 1, 2009, for all first magnitude stars, or where indicated in the description of the star. Unless otherwise stated, stellar luminosities are total (bolometric) luminosities that include ultraviolet and infrared radiation.

Star descriptions represent the state of knowledge at the time of writing, and are not updated unless brought to special attention. In that sense they are archival. Undated descriptions were written prior to January 26, 2007.

PLACES TO GO

Skylights presents the weekly sky and a photo of the week. Stars arranged by spectral class and variable star class using proper names. Stars arranged by spectral class and variable star class using Greek letter names.
The Natures of the Stars provides a linked introduction to stars and star lives. SPECTRA provides a linked and illustrated introduction to the spectra of the stars. From the Sun to the Stars: the OLLI Lectures provides a linked, illustrated introduction to astronomy.
The Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram presents the different kinds of stars and an introduction to star lives. The Constellations presents a complete linked list along locations and brightest stars. Constellation Maps shows the locations of the constellations on six charts.
Tour the Milky Way. The 170 Brightest Stars, through magnitude 3.00. The Planet Project shows stars with orbiting planets.
Visit The Planetary Nebulae, with images from the past and present. See prominent star clusters and enjoy Poor Blue Straggler. Take a trip to the Galaxy's Anticenter, its variables and clusters. Compare with the Milky Way at the Galaxy's Center.
See a deep photo and naked-eye polar stars in the Polar Project. See The Sun. Look at pages from classical star atlases.
Read more on stars in Stellar Stories. See Measuring the Sky to learn about the celestial sphere. Read a brief discussion of Star Names.
Know the Greek alphabet, used in naming stars. See planets move against the background stars. Advances in Astronomy, 1989-2011.
Skylights has an Archive and Photo Gallery back to September 25, 1998. See sunsets, rainbows, the Moon and planets, and other sky phenomena in Sunlight. Go from Day Into Night, with 83 linked illustrations.
Enjoy Our Complex Universe: A Human Understanding through Art, with 12 illustrations. The Aurora has an explanation and images. See scenic aspects of the Moon at Moon Light.
Go to MoonScapes for labelled telescopic images of the Moon and other lunar information. See and understand the ocean tides. Love the stars? The StarGazer may be playing in a planetarium near you.
The History and Philosophy of the site. Take a ride aboard Asteroid 17851 Kaler (1998 JK). Examine a variety of Jim Kaler's books about stars.

See SG Logo

ASPSupport science literacy by joining the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, an international organization that is among the world's premier providers of astro education. Get Mercury and a variety of other benefits; see some excerpts.


Presenting three audio courses with 70-100 page study guides, narrated and written by Jim Kaler.
Heavens Above: Stars, Constellations, and the Sky from Recorded Books. Astronomy: Earth, Sky, and Planets, is available from Recorded Books. Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe, is also now available from Recorded Books.
Astronomy: Earth, Sky, and Planets is published as Vault of the Heavens: Exploring the Solar System's Place in the Universe by Barnes and Noble.

Read Heaven's Touch: From Killer Stars to the Seeds of Life, How We Are Connected to the Universe, Princeton University Press, 2009.

Learn about stellar spectra in SS STARS AND THEIR SPECTRA: An Introduction to the Spectral Sequence, Second Ed., with two new chapters and 140 new illustrations, Cambridge University Press (UK or North Anerica), 2011.


From the Sun to the Stars: the OLLI Lectures provides a linked, illustrated introduction to astronomy.

NEW in Stellar Stories: "The Harp," a tale of Lyra.

SSNEW! FIRST MAGNITUDE: A book of the Bright Sky, World Scientific, 2013. Read the interview with Jim Kaler.


The new star, for July 25, 2014, is 17 Com (17 Comae Berenices), a magnetic wide double that isn't.

The past 10-plus stars were, for:


Updates within the past year are indicated in the tables below by an asterisk (*); stars with illustrations are marked by "&," those with planets in the Planet Project by "#."

New Updates: Cor Caroli (Alpha-1 and Alpha-2 Canum Venaticorum) and Y CVn.

Planetary Nebulae now has spectra of the Ring Nebula (in color), NGC 7009 (the Saturn Nebula), and IC 418 (the Spirograph Nebula).

See also the Orion Nebula and its color spectrum.


STARS: A-B

a Car AB Aur & Acamar Achernar Achird Acrux Acubens Adhafera
Adhara AE Aur Ain # Aladfar Al Athfar Albaldah Albali Albireo
Alchiba Alcor Alcyone Aldebaran Alderamin Al Dhanab Al Dhibain "Posterior" Al Dhibain "Prior"
Alfecca Meridiana Alfirk* Algedi & Algenib Algenubi Algieba #& Algol & Alhena
Alifa al Farkadain Alioth Al Kab Alkaid Alkalurops Algorab Al Kaphrah Alkes
Almaaz & Almach Al Minliar al Asad Al Nair Alnasl Alnilam Alnitak Al Niyat (Sigma)
Al Niyat (Tau) Alpha Ant Alpha Aps Alpha Ara Alpha Cae Alpha Cam Alpha Cha Alpha Cir
Alpha Dor Alpha For Alpha Hor Alpha Hyi Alpha Lac Alpha Lyn Alpha Men Alpha Mic
Alpha Mon Alpha Mus Alpha Oct Alpha Pic Alpha Pyx Alpha Ret Alpha Scl Alpha Sct
Alpha Sex Alpha Tel Alpha Tuc Alpha Vol Alphard Alphecca (Gemma) Alpheratz Alrescha
Alsafi Alsciaukat Alshain Al Shat & Altais (Nodus II) Altair & Al Tarf Alterf
Al Thalimain Posterior Al Thalimain Prior Aludra Alula Australis & Alula Borealis Alya Al Zirr Ankaa
Anser Antares Anwar al Farkadain Arcturus Arkab Posterior Arkab Prior Arneb Arrakis
Ascella Asellus Australis Asellus Borealis Asellus Primus Asellus Secundus Asellus Tertius Asmidiske Aspidiske
Atik Atlas Atria Avior Azha Barnard's Star Baten Kaitos Beid
Bellatrix Beta Ara Beta Cam Beta Com Beta CrA Beta Dor & Beta Equ Beta Gru
Beta Hor Beta Hya Beta Hyi Beta LMi & Beta Lup Beta Mon Beta Mus & Beta Pav
Beta Phe & Beta Pic # Beta PsA Beta Scl Beta Sct Beta Ser Beta Sex Beta Sge
Beta TrA Beta Tri Beta Tuc Betelgeuse Biham BQ Gem


STARS: C-G

Canopus Capella & Caph Castor & Cebalrai Celaeno Chara Chertan
Chi Aql Chi Aqr Chi Car Chi Cen Chi Cnc Chi Cyg Chi Eri Chi Her
Chi Lup Chi Oph Chi-1 Ori & Chi-2 Ori Cor Caroli CU Vir Cujam Cursa
Cygnus X-1 & Dabih Delta And Delta Aql Delta Aur & Delta Boo Delta Cen Delta Cep*
Delta Cet Delta-1 CMi Delta Col Delta Crb Delta Crt Delta Cru Delta Cyg Delta Del
Delta Equ Delta-1 Gru Delta-2 Gru Delta Her Delta Hya Delta Lib Delta Lup Delta-1 Lyr &
Delta-2 Lyr & Delta Pav Delta Per Delta Psc Delta Sct Delta Ser Delta Sge & Delta Tri
Delta Vel & Delta Vir Delta Vol Deneb & Deneb Algedi Deneb Al Okab Aus Deneb Al Okab Bor Deneb Dulfim
Deneb Kaitos Denebola Dheneb Diadem Dschubba & Dubhe Edasich # Electra
Elnath Eltanin Enif Eps And Eps Ari Eps Cen Eps Cep Eps CrA
Eps CrB Eps Cru Eps Equ & Eps Eri # Eps Her Eps Hya Eps Ind Eps Lep
Eps Lyr &* Eps Mon & Eps Mus Eps Per Eps Sco Eps Sct Eps Ser Eps UMi
Errai #* Eta Aql & Eta Aqr Eta Car Eta Cen Eta Cep Eta CMi Eta CrB &
Eta Cru Eta Crv & Eta Cyg Eta Her Eta Hya Eta Leo Eta Lup Eta Per
Eta Sco Eta Ser Eta Sgr Fomalhaut &#* Fum al Samakah Furud G Sco Gacrux
Gamma Ara Gamma Cas* Gamma CMi Gamma Crt Gamma CrB & Gamma Del Gamma Dor Gamma Equ
Gamma Her Gamma Hya Gamma Hyi Gamma Lep Gamma Lib Gamma Lup & Gamma Mic Gamma Mon &
Gamma-2 Nor Gamma Pav Gamma Per Gamma Phe Gamma Psc Gamma PsA Gamma Scl Gamma Sct
Gamma Ser Gamma Sge Gamma TrA Gamma Tri Gamma Vol Garnet Star & Giausar Gienah Corvi
Gienah Cygni Girtab GG Lup Gmb 1830 UMa Gomeisa Gorgonea Tertia Graffias (Acrab) Grumium


STARS: H-M

Hadar (Agena) & Haedus I & Haedus II & Hamal HD 10180 Hyi # HD 20367 Ari # HD 50554 Gem # HD 188753 Cyg #
HD 189733 Vul # HD 195019 Del # HD 210277 Aqr # Heze Hind's Crimson & Homam HR 6 Phe # HR 286 UMi &
HR 306 Cep & HR 1107 Cep & HR 1988 Ori # HR 2447 CMa # HR 2622 Mon # HR 2877 Gem # HR 3497 Vel # HR 4067 UMa #
HR 4686 UMi & HR 4691 Crv & HR 6094 Sco # HR 6817 Dra # HR 6907 Sgr # HR 7272 Lyr # HR 7291 Sgr # HR 7907 Del #
HR 8734 Psc # HR 8752 Cas HR 8799 Peg # HR 8938 Cep & Hyadum I Hyadum II Hydor Iota Ari
Iota Cas & Iota Cen Iota CMa & Iota Cnc Iota Gem Iota Her Iota Hor # Iota Leo
Iota Lep Iota Lib & Iota Lup Iota Peg & Iota Per Iota Psc Iota-1 Sco Iota-2 Sco
Izar Jabbah Kaffaljidhma Kakkab Kappa Cas Kappa Cen Kappa-1 Cet & Kappa CMa
Kappa Cnc Kappa CrB # Kappa Dra Kappa Gem Kappa Lup Kappa Oph Kappa Pav Kappa Psc
Kappa Sco Kappa Ser Kappa Tau Kappa UMa Kaus Australis Kaus Borealis Kaus Media Keid
Kitalpha Kochab Kornephoros Kraz Kullat Nunu Kuma Kurhah KX Lib &
l Car L2 Pup La Superba Lambda And Lambda Ari Lambda Aur Lambda Boo Lambda Cas &
Lambda Cen Lambda Cep & Lambda Cet Lambda CMa Lambda Cyg & Lambda Eri Lambda Gem Lambda Lep
Lambda Lup & Lambda Pav Lambda Ser Lambda Tau Lambda UMi & Lesath Maia Marfak-East &
Marfak-West & Marfik Markab Markeb Marsic Masym Matar Mebsuta
Megrez Meissa Mekbuda Menkalinan Menkar Menkent Menkib Merak
Merope Mesarthim Miaplacidus Mimosa Minkar Mintaka Mira Mirach
Mirfak Mirzam Mizar Mothallah Mu And Mu Aqr Mu Ara # Mu Cen
Mu Cet Mu Col Mu Cru Mu Eri Mu-1 Gru Mu-2 Gru Mu Her Mu Lep
Mu Nor Mu Oph Mu Ori & Mu Per Mu-1 Sco Mu Vel Mu Vel Muhlifain
Muliphein Muliphen Muphrid Muscida


STARS: N-S

N Vel Na'ir al Saif Naos & Nashira Nekkar Nihal Nu And Nu Aql
Nu Aqr & Nu Aur & Nu-1 Boo Nu-2 Boo Nu Cen Nu Cep Nu Cet Nu CrB &
Nu Eri Nu Gem Nu Hya Nu Oct # Nu Oph Nu Per Nu Pup Nu Ser
Nu Vir Nunki Nusakan Omega Cap Omega Car Omega Cas Omega CMa & Omega-2 Cyg
Omega Eri Omega Leo & Omega Ori Omega Psc Omega Vir Omicron-1 CMa Omicron-2 CMa Omicron-1 = 31 Cyg &
Omicron-2 = 32 Cyg & Omicron-1 Ori Omicron Tau OV Cep & p Car P Cyg & p Vel & Peacock
The Persian Phact Phecda Pherkad Phi And & Phi Aqr Phi Cas & Phi Cen
Phi Dra & Phi Her & Phi-1 Ori Phi Sgr Phi UMa & Phi Vel Pi And & Pi Aur &
Pi Boo Pi Her Pi Hya Pi Leo Pi Men # Pi-4 Ori Pi-5 Ori & Pi-1 Peg
Pi-2 Peg Pi PsA Pi Pup Pi Sco & Pi-2 UMa # Plaskett's Star Pleione Polaris &
Polaris Australis Polaris Gal. Bor. Polis Pollux # Porrima Praecipua Procyon Propus
Proxima Cen Psi-1 Aqr Psi Cap Psi Ori = Psi-2 Ori Psi UMa Psi Vel q Car q-1 Eri #
R CrB & R Hya & R Leo & R Lyr & R Scuti & Rana Rasalas Rasalgethi &
Rasalhague Rastaban Regor Regulus Rho Aql Rho Boo Rho Cas Rho CrB #
Rho Gem Rho Her Rho Leo Rho Oph Rho Sco Rho Vir Rigel Rigil Kentaurus &
Rijl al Awwa Rotanev RR Lyrae Ruchba Ruchbah & Rukbat RX Lep S = 15 Mon &
S = 10 Sge Sabik Sadachbia Sadalbari (Lambda) Sadalbari (Mu) Sadalmelik Sadalsuud Sadr &*
Saif al Jabbar Saiph Scheat Seat & Segin Seginus Sham Shaula
Shedar & Sheliak &* Sheratan Sigma Aql Sigma Boo Sigma Cas Sigma CMa & Sigma CrB
Sigma Cyg Sigma Gem Sigma Oph Sigma Ori Sigma Pup Sirius Skat Spica
Sualocin Subra & Suhail Sulafat The Sun* Syrma


STARS: T-Z

T Cen & T CrB Tabit Talitha Tania Australis Tania Borealis Tarazed Tau And
Tau Aur & Tau Boo # Tau Cet Tau CMa Tau Cyg & Tau-1 Eri Tau-4 Eri Tau-5 Eri
Tau-1 Gru # Tau Her Tau Lib Tau Ori Tau Per & Tau Pup Tau Sgr Tau Tau &
Tau Vir Taygeta Tegmine & Tejat Theta Ant & Theta Aql & Theta Ara Theta Aur
Theta Cap Theta Car Theta CMa Theta CrB Theta Crt Theta Dra Theta Gem Theta Her
Theta Lup Theta Mus Theta Oph Theta-1 Ori Theta Per & Theta-1 Tau & Theta-2 Tau & Theta Tuc
Theta UMa Theta Vir Thuban Tureis U Ori & Unukalhai Ups And # Ups Aur &
Ups Car Ups Cet Ups Gem Ups Ori Ups Sgr Ups UMa Vega & Vindemiatrix
V Pup & VV Cep &* VV Ori & V766 Cen V1334 Cyg W Boo W Ori Wasat
Wazn Wezen X Her & X Per & X Sgr X TrA Xi Aql # Xi Boo &
Xi-1 Cet Xi-2 Cet Xi Cyg & Xi Oph Xi Peg Xi Ser Xi Tau XY Lyr
Yed Posterior Yed Prior Yildun & YY Gem Zaniah Zaurak Zavijava Zeta Aqr
Zeta Ara Zeta Boo Zeta Cap Zeta Cas & Zeta Cen Zeta Cep* Zeta Cru Zeta Crv &
Zeta Cyg & Zeta Del Zeta Her Zeta Hya Zeta Lep Zeta Lup Zeta Lyr & Zeta Mon
Zeta Oph Zeta Per Zeta Phe Zeta Ret Zeta Scl Zeta-1 Sco Zeta Ser Zeta Sge &
Zeta Tau Zeta Tuc Zibal Zosma Zubenelgenubi Zubeneschamali Zubenhakrabi


STARS: FLAMSTEED NUMBERS

1 Gem 2 Cen 2 Her 2 Lac 2 UMi & 3 Cen 3 Vul 4 Aql 5 Ser
5 UMi 6 Cas 6 Gem 6 Tri 8 Her 9 Cet 10 Dra=CU Dra 10 Lac 10 UMa &
12 Boo & 13 Mon & 14 Aur & 14 Her # 16 Cyg # 16 Dra 17 Com 17 Dra 18 Sco
19 Cep 19 Psc 21 LMi 23 Lib # 23 UMa 24 Sex # 24 UMi & 25 Ori* 27 Vir
29 Cyg & 30 Her & 30 Tau 31 Aql 31 Ori 32 Ori & 33 Vir 35=UU Psc 37 Tau
38 Lyn 39 Tau 40 Per 41 Ari 43 Cas 45 Leo = CX Leo 47 UMa # 48 Lib 48 Per
51 Eri 51 Peg # 52 Cyg 53 Aqr & 53 Per & 54 Leo 54 Psc # 55 Cnc # 55 Cyg &
59 Cyg* 60 Leo 61 Cyg 61 Vir # 67 Oph 68 Cyg 68 Her & 70 Oph & 70 Vir #
71 Aql 72 Leo 78 UMa & 78 Vir 79 Cet # 83 UMa 89 Her 94 Cet # 95 Her
109 Psc # 109 Vir 119=CE Tau


Constellations and their Stars


LINKS

To learn more about stars, constellations, and astronomy go to:

American Association of Variable Star Observers
The Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Astronomy Picture of the Day
Chandra X-ray Observatory
The Constellations and their Stars
Hubble Space Telescope
MOST precision photometry satellite
Munich Astro Archiv Constellation Pages
The Mythology of the Constellations
The Night Sky Atlas
Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO)
SolStation.com
UCSD Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences, Astronomy and Education Outreach
Stereo, studying the Sun in 3D.
Universe Today-Space news from around the Internet, updated every weekday.

SOURCES

The following sources were used to create the Stars of the Week. Thanks to the stellar researchers.

Allen, R. H., "Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning," Dover, New York, reprint, 1963
American Association of Variable Star Observers
The Astronomical Journal
The Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series
Astronomy and Astrophysics: A European Journal
Astronomy and Astrophysics Abstracts, Springer, Heidelberg
Astronomy and Astrophysics Supplement Series
The Astrophysical Journal
The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series
Becvar, A., Skalnate Pleso Atlas of the Heavens
Berry, A., "A Short History of Astronomy," Dover, New York, reprint, 1961
Terrell, D., Mukherjee, J. D., Wilson, R. E., "Binary Stars: A Pictorial Atlas," Krieger Publ., 1992
Burnham, R., Jr., Burnham's Celestial Handbook, Dover, New York, 1978
European Southern Observatory Southern Sky Survey
Hoffleit, D. and Jaschek, C., The Bright Star Catalogue, Fourth Revised Ed., Yale University Observatory, 1982
Hoffleit, D., Saladyga, M., and Wlasuk, P., A Supplement to the Bright Star Catalogue, Yale University Observatory, 1983
Hoffleit, D. and Warren, W. H., Jr., Yale Bright Star Catalogue, Fifth Revision, NASA ADC, 2002
The Hipparcos and Tycho Catalogues, European Space Agency, 1998
Information Bulletin on Variable Stars
Kaler, J. B., "Stars and their Spectra," Cambridge U. Press, 1989
Kaler, J. B., "Astronomy!," HarperCollins, New York, 1994
Kaler, J. B., "Extreme Stars," Cambridge U. Press, 2001
Kaler, J. B., "The Hundred Greatest Stars," Copernicus Books, New York, 2002
Kaler, J. B., "The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Stars," Cambridge U. Press, 2006
Kukarkin, B. V. et al., "General Catalogue of Variable Stars," Astr. Council Acad. Sci. USSR, Moscow, 1970
Kunitzsch, P. and Smart, T., "Short Guide to Modern Star Names/Derivations," Harrassowitz, Berlin, 1986
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
The Observatory
Observer's Handbook, Royal Astron. Soc. Canada, R. Bishop, ed, Toronto, U. Toronto Press
Palomar Sky Survey, Palomar Observatory/California Institute of Technology
Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
SIMBAD on the Web, CDS, University of Strasbourg
Sky and Telescope
Smyth, W. H. (rev. G. F. Chambers), "A Cycle of Celestial Objects," Clarendon, Oxford, 1881
Tirion, T., Sky Atlas 2000, Sky Publishing Corp., Cambridge, 1981
USNO Washington Double Star Catalog 2001.0, B.D. Mason, G.L.Wycoff, W.I.Hartkopf, G.G.Douglass, C.E.Worley
USNO Fifth Catalog of Orbits of Visual Binary Stars, W. I. Hartkopf, B. D. Mason, C. E. Worley
USNO Washington Double Star Catalog 2006.5, D. D. Mason, G. L. Wycoff, W. I. Hartkopf
USNO Sixth Catalog of Orbits of Visual Binary Stars, W. I. Hartkopf, B. D. Mason
van Leeuwen, F., "Hipparcos, the New Reduction of the Raw Data," Springer, 2007.
Wagman, M., "Lost Stars," McDonald and Woodward, Blacksburg, VA, 2003.

Opening star image from the European Southern Observatory Southern Sky Survey.
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