Astrophotography by Anthony Ayiomamitis

Brightest Star Image Gallery

Stars are the most basic entity within the universe, for they are present to varying degrees in galaxies, nebulae, open and closed clusters as well as supernova remnants. They have graced the evening sky ever since man first started becoming aware of his existence and have been intricately intertwined in culture, religion, superstition and many facets of human behaviour.

Our galaxy is believed to contain 300 billion (3x108) stars whereas over 70 sextillion (7x1022) stars are believed to exist within the universe. The greatest accumulation of stars is in the form of galaxies where hundreds of billions of stars form these island universes. Less populous but still large accumulations of stars are observed in globular clusters where up to one million stars are strongly held together gravitationally (approximately 150 such clusters exist in our galaxy). Open clusters also involve a collection of stars (usually in the hundreds) which are weakly held gravitationally and are more frequent than globular clusters (at least 1500 open clusters exist in our galaxy).

The Sun (Sol) is, of course, the closest star to our planet lying at a distance of approximately 150 million kilometers away. Sol is 4.6 billion years old and approximately halfway through its 10 billion year lifespan. It is characterized as a yellow dwarf of spectral type G2V and with a surface temperature between 5,500 and 6,000 degrees Kelvin. With a diameter of 1.4 million kilometers (109 times that of earth), it is considered average in size. Sol lies 26,000 light-years away from our galaxy's core and requires between 225 and 250 million years to make one complete revolution around the same core. Aside from being the brightest object in our skies, its motion during the course of a year fluctuates in both azimuth and altitude forming a figure-eight shape commonly referred to as the analemma.

Image Details
Bright Star -Cas
Imaging Details
Proper Star Name:

Bayer Letter:

Tycho Catalog:
TYC 4017-2319-1

Henry Draper Number:
HD 5394

3881 + 774 x Sun

613 + 58 light-yrs

RA / Dec:
00h 57m 21s /
+60 46' 37"

B-V Color Index:

Radial Velocity:
-6.8 km/sec

Magnitude (Visual):
Nov 20, 2009
21:40 - 22:25 UT+2

Athens, Greece

AP 160/f7.5 Starfire EDF
SBIG LRGB filters

Lum :  10 min (10 x 1 min)
Red :  10 min (05 x 2 min)
Green :  10 min (05 x 2 min)
Blue :  10 min (05 x 2 min)
Binning :  1x1 (L),  1x1 (RGB)

Image Scale:
1.27" per pixel

Ambient : + 14.0 C
CCD Chip : + 00.0 C

CCDSoft V5.00.188
CCDStack V1.6.0.5
Photoshop CS2