October 20, 2021


Altair_4minMod6DDSLR_ChumackHRweb (004)

Photographer: John Chumack 

Summary Author: John Chumack; Jim Foster

Altair, one of the brightest stars visible during summer (in the Northern Hemisphere), gets relatively little attention compared to stars such as Vega and Antares. Nonetheless, it has a stunning background star field. Also designated α Aquilae (Alpha Aquilae), it’s the brightest star in the constellation of Aquila (The Eagle) and the twelfth brightest star in the night sky. Altair is relatively close by our solar system --16.7 light-years (5.13 parsecs) away. It’s approximately 1.8 times the mass of the Sun and 11 times as luminous.

The southernmost star of the vertices that form the “Summer Triangle” asterism, Altair is visible nearly all summer and well into autumn. Look for it now in the western sky, just after sunset. Photo taken on August 2, 2020.

Photo details: TPO 12-inch F4 Newtonian reflector telescope; Modified Canon 6D DSLR camera; Baader Coma Corrector; Bisque ME mount; ISO 800; 4-minute exposure.


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