Bright Stars Photo Gallery
The photo gallery below is a project to image the brightest stars in the sky (50 Brightest Stars Catalog). The stars are located at such extraordinarily large distances from the Solar System that the light from them takes tens to hundreds of years to reach us. At these vast distances (usually measured in light years or parsecs), none of the stars show visible disks with amateur-size telescopes. Even with largest professional telescopes, special techniques must be employed to resolve the disks of these distant suns.
Nevertheless, the images in this photo gallery are useful in showing the relative appearance of the brightest stars to each other as well as to the star fields they appears against as seen from Earth.
Most of the images were made using the Takahashi Epsilon 180 Hyperbolic Astrograph and a Canon EOS 550D / Rebel T2i (modified with a Baader UV/IR filter). This combination offers a wide field of view (1.7° x 2.65°) with excellent resolution (1.8 arc-sec per pixel). The resulting images show each star in its surrounding environment and at a fixed image scale. Since some Southern Hemipshere stars are not visible from the 32° latitude of Bifrost Observatory, they have been imaged with smaller more portable equipment during trips south of the Equator.
This page will be updated periodically until all 50 Brightest Stars have been imaged.
Click on each thumbnail to see a larger image.
- Stars (Jim Kaler, U. of Illinios)
- Brightest Stars (Wikipedia)
- Brightest Stars (CosmoBrain)
- Brightest Stars (SEDS)
- Brightest Stars (Atlas of the Universe)
- Intrinsically Brightest Stars (Tim Thompson)