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Photo by Tom Wildoner

Photo by Tom Wildoner

Achernar, 9th brightest star in the sky and brightest star in the constellation Eridanus. It lies 144 light years away and has 6-8 times the mass of the Sun, 24 times the diameter and is 3,000 times brighter. It spins so rapidly (225-300km per second) that it is an oblate spheroid, with it's equatorial diameter more than twice that of it's polar diameter. Achernar is very blue and extremely hot at an average of 15,000 Kelvin at its surface.

Achernar, 9th brightest star in the sky and brightest star in the constellation Eridanus. It lies 144 light years away and has 6-8 times the mass of the Sun, 24 times the diameter and is 3,000 times brighter. It spins so rapidly (225-300km per second) that it is an oblate spheroid, with it's equatorial diameter more than twice that of it's polar diameter. Achernar is very blue and extremely hot at an average of 15,000 Kelvin at its surface.

Vega is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra the Harp. That’s why it’s often called the Harp Star.

Vega is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra the Harp. That’s why it’s often called the Harp Star.

Arcturus, the fourth brightest star in the sky in the constellation Bootes. Its an orange giant star which is cooler than our Sun, but radiates much of its energy in the infrared spectrum. It's also much larger with about 25 times the diameter. To find it in the sky, follow the arc of the handle of the big dipper.

Arcturus, the fourth brightest star in the sky in the constellation Bootes. Its an orange giant star which is cooler than our Sun, but radiates much of its energy in the infrared spectrum. It's also much larger with about 25 times the diameter. To find it in the sky, follow the arc of the handle of the big dipper.

Researchers may have finally discovered proof that black holes exist

Researchers may have finally discovered proof that black holes exist

The Sombrero Galaxy is an unbarred spiral galaxy in the constellation Virgo located 28 million light-years from Earth. #love

The Sombrero Galaxy is an unbarred spiral galaxy in the constellation Virgo located 28 million light-years from Earth. #love

the pale blue dot / earth as seen from voyager 1 while on the edge of our solar system

the pale blue dot / earth as seen from voyager 1 while on the edge of our solar system

The Big Dipper Enhanced  Explanation: Do you see it? This common question frequently precedes the rediscovery of one of the most commonly recognized configurations of stars on the northern sky: the Big Dipper. This grouping of stars is one of the few things that has likely been seen, and will be seen, by every human generation. In this featured image, however, the stars of the Big Dipper have been digitally enhanced -- they do not really appear this much brighter than nearby stars. The image…

The Big Dipper Enhanced Explanation: Do you see it? This common question frequently precedes the rediscovery of one of the most commonly recognized configurations of stars on the northern sky: the Big Dipper. This grouping of stars is one of the few things that has likely been seen, and will be seen, by every human generation. In this featured image, however, the stars of the Big Dipper have been digitally enhanced -- they do not really appear this much brighter than nearby stars. The image…

A white dwarf star that some media outlets have taken to calling a real-life Star Wars “Death Star” has been caught cannibalizing the small, rocky remains of a planet that once inhabited its solar system, NASA officials announced on Wednesday.

A white dwarf star that some media outlets have taken to calling a real-life Star Wars “Death Star” has been caught cannibalizing the small, rocky remains of a planet that once inhabited its solar system, NASA officials announced on Wednesday.