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Alpha Aquilae, 53 Aquilae

Proper NameAltair
Bayer DesignationAlpha Aquilae
Flamsteed Number53 Aquilae
HR (BSC)7557
Right Ascension19h 50m 47s
Declination+8° 52' 6"
Distance16.7 light years
5.1 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +0.9
Absolute: +2.4
Spectral ClassA7V white main sequence star
Optimum VisibilityJuly / August
NotesThis white star is only slightly larger than the Sun, but is prominent in the sky because it lies just 16.7 light years from the Solar System. Altair's rapid rotation gives it an oblate shape, with a distinct bulge around its equatorial regions.

A fairly massive white star, Altair is the brightest in the constellation of Aquila, the Eagle. It is one of the closest bright stars to Earth: just 17 light years away.

The fainter yellow-orange star seen to the southeast of Altair in this image is Xi Aquilae, a yellow giant lying far beyond the relatively nearby Altair (and actually considerably more intrinsically luminous). This yellow star is also named Libertas, and is known to have at least one planet, the gas giant Fortitudo. Altair itself does not appear to possess a planetary system. Imagery provided by Aladin sky atlas


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