star blank STARS blank star

PLEASE NOTE: STARS has moved to

With thanks to all, STARS celebrates over 3.6 million visitors!

STARS also celebrates a milestone of 750 stellar descriptons!


Updated Each Friday With A New Star

Star Count: 751

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

This week's star is p Vel (p Velorum).

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 two 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 third table. The fourth 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.


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. 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 169 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, 1989-2010.
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. 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.

NEW in Stellar Stories: "Walking with Lions," a tale of Leo and Leo Minor.

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.

NEW SITE: MoonScapes presents telescopic views of the Moon along with a variety of other information.

SSNEW! 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. Now discounted!

The new star, for April 27, 2012, is p Vel (p Velorum), a close binary with confused classifications.

The past 10 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 "#."

EXPANDED, with handy tables: The Sun.

Latest update: Denebola (Beta Leonis).


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 & Algorab
Alhena Alifa al Farkadain Alioth Al Kab Alkaid Alkalurops
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 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 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 Canopus Capella & Caph Castor &
Cebalrai Celaeno Chara Chertan Chi Aql Chi Aqr
Chi Car Chi Cyg Chi Eri Chi Her Chi Lup Chi Oph
Chi-1 Ori & Chi-2 Ori Cor Caroli 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 Lup Delta-1 Lyr & Delta-2 Lyr & 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* 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 Cru Eta Crv & Eta Her Eta Leo
Eta Lup Eta Per Eta Sco 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 Lup & Gamma Mic Gamma-2 Nor
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 Gomeisa
Gorgonea Tertia Graffias (Acrab) Grumium 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 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 Peg & Iota Per
Iota Psc Iota-1 Sco Iota-2 Sco Izar Jabbah Kaffaljidhma
Kakkab Kappa Cas Kappa-1 Cet & Kappa Cnc Kappa CrB # Kappa Dra
Kappa Gem Kappa Oph 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 Aurigae Lambda Boo
Lambda Cas & Lambda Cet Lambda Eri Lambda Gem 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 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
Muhlifain Muliphein Muliphen Muphrid Muscida Na'ir al Saif
Naos & Nashira Nekkar Nihal Nu And Nu Aqr &
Nu Aur & Nu-1 Boo Nu-2 Boo Nu Cen Nu Cep Nu CrB &
Nu Eri Nu Gem Nu Hya Nu Oct # Nu Oph Nu Per
Nu Pup Nu Vir Nunki Nusakan Omega Cap Omega CMa &
Omega-2 Cyg Omega Eri 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 Cyg & p Vel & Peacock The Persian Phact Phecda
Pherkad Phi And & Phi Aqr Phi Cas & Phi Dra & Phi-1 Ori
Phi Sgr Phi UMa & Phi Vel Pi And & Pi Aur & Pi Boo
Pi Her Pi Hya 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 UMa Psi Vel 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 Rigel Rigil Kentaurus & Rijl al Awwa Rotanev RR Lyrae
Ruchba Ruchbah & Rukbat RX Lep S = 15 Mon & 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 Ori Sigma Pup Sirius Skat Spica Sualocin
Subra & Suhail Sulafat The Sun* Syrma T Cen &
T CrB Tabit Talitha Tania Australis Tania Borealis Tarazed
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 Ori Tau Per &
Tau Pup Tau Sgr Tau Vir Taygeta Tegmine & Tejat
Theta Aql & Theta Aur Theta Cap Theta Car Theta CrB Theta Dra
Theta Her Theta Oph Theta-1 Ori Theta Per & Theta-1 Tau & Theta-2 Tau &
Theta UMa Thuban Tureis Unukalhai Ups And # Ups Aur &
Ups Cet Ups Gem Ups Sgr Ups UMa Vega & Vindemiatrix
V Pup & VV Cep & VV Ori & V1334 Cyg W Boo W Ori
Wasat Wazn Wezen X Her & X Per & X Sgr
Xi Aql # Xi Boo & Xi-1 Cet Xi-2 Cet Xi Cyg & Xi Oph
Xi Peg Xi Ser Xi Tau Yed Posterior Yed Prior Yildun &
YY Gem Zaniah Zaurak Zavijava Zeta Aqr Zeta Boo
Zeta Cap Zeta Cas & Zeta Cen Zeta Cep Zeta Cru Zeta Cyg &
Zeta Her Zeta Hya Zeta Lep Zeta Lyr & Zeta Mon Zeta Oph
Zeta Per Zeta Phe Zeta Ret Zeta Scl Zeta-1 Sco Zeta Tau
Zeta Tuc Zibal Zosma Zubenelgenubi Zubeneschamali Zubenhakrabi


1 Gem 2 Cen 2 Lac 2 UMi & 3 Cen 3 Vul 6 Cas 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 Dra 18 Sco 19 Cep 19 Psc 21 LMi 23 Lib # 23 UMa 24 Sex #
24 UMi & 25 Ori 29 Cyg & 30 Her & 30 Tau 31 Aql 31 Ori 35=UU Psc 38 Lyn
40 Per 41 Ari 47 UMa # 48 Lib 48 Per 51 Peg # 53 Aqr & 53 Per & 54 Psc #
55 Cnc # 59 Cyg 61 Cyg 61 Vir # 67 Oph 70 Oph & 70 Vir # 78 UMa & 78 Vir
79 Cet # 89 Her 94 Cet # 95 Her 109 Psc # 119=CE Tau

Constellations and their Stars


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
Earth and Sky, Skywatching
Earth and Sky, General Science
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)
UCSD Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences, Astronomy and Education Outreach
Universe Today-Space news from around the Internet, updated every weekday.
Windows to the Universe


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. 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.
Valid HTML 4.0! Copyright © James B. Kaler, all rights reserved. These contents are the property of the author and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the author's consent except in fair use for educational purposes. This page was last modified on April 27, 2012. Thanks to reader number joomla stats.