The Brightest Stars in Apparent Magnitude
Star            Name                Spectral    Apparent    Absolute    Distance

alpha CMa A Sirius A1 V* -1.46 1.4 8.6 alpha Car Canopus F0 II -0.72 -3.1 74 alpha Cen Rigil Kentaurus G2 V+K1 V -0.01 4.4 4.3 alpha Boo Arcturus K2 IIIb -0.04 -0.3 34 alpha Lyr Vega A0 V 0.03 0.5 25.3 alpha Aur Capella G8 0.08 -0.6 41 beta Ori Rigel B8 I* 0.12 -7.1 815 alpha CMi Procyon F5 IV 0.38 2.7 11.4 alpha Eri Archenar B3 Vpe 0.46 -2.3 69 alpha Ori Betelgeuse M2 I 0.50 -5.6 650 beta Cen Hadar B1 III 0.61 -5.2 320 alpha Aql Altair A7 V 0.77 16.8 213468 A0 V 0.77 alpha Tau Aldebaran K5 III 0.85 -0.7 60 alpha Vir Spica B1 III+B2 V 0.98 -3.3 220 alpha Sco Antares M1.5 I* 0.96 -5.1 425 beta Gem Pollux K0 III 1.14 1.0 40 alpha PsA Fomalhaut A3 Va 1.16 2.0 22 alpha Cyg Deneb A2 Iae 1.25 -7.1 1630


  1. The sources for this table are SEDS (Students Explore the Universe) and Se-605. The only numbers from Se-605 are the absolute magnitudes: they are somewhat out of date, but no matter here.

  2. There is such a thing as luminosity class indicated by a Roman numeral after spectral type. Main sequence stars are luminosity class V. Only main sequence stars For other special symbols accompanying spectral type consult SEDS.

  3. You can see that stars are bright because they have either high luminosity (i.e., low absolute magnitude) or because they are close. Star density in space decreases with increasing luminosity, and so, in fact, stars both very luminous and close are rare. Depending on how you count these things, Canopus may be the only such star. One can see that apparent brightness is NOT a good guide to relative distance.