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The Shepherdˆs Star, Alpha Aurigae, 13 Aurigae

Proper NamesCapella, The Shepherd's Star
Bayer DesignationAlpha Aurigae
Flamsteed Number13 Aurigae
HR (BSC)1708
Right Ascension5h 16m 41s
Declination+45° 59' 53"
Distance43 light years
13 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +0.1
Absolute: -0.5
Spectral ClassG5 Yellow Giant
Optimum VisibilityDecember (Usually visible from northern latitudes)
NotesA complex system of stars orbiting a pair of yellow giants, which appears in the skies of Earth as a brilliant point of light lying on the band of the Milky Way as it passes through Auriga.

A brilliant yellow star system, the sixth brightest in the entire sky, lying in the constellation of Auriga, the Charioteer.

Capella A

A close view of Capella A, one of two yellow giants that dominate the extensive Capella system. This huge star and its companion lie at the heart of a swarm of eight or more lesser stars.

The Capella System

Capella is a complex system with two giant yellow stars at its heart, orbiting a common centre of gravity every 104 days. These two are not alone - they are accompanied by at least eight other stars

Relative Galactic Position of Capella

The Galactic position and direction of Capella relative to Earth's Sun. Note that, at this extreme scale, the two stars are effectively in the same place.

Location of Capella

Imagery provided by Aladin sky atlas


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