Talk:List of nearest bright stars

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  • Still a work in progress. Please bear with me while I track down the remaining stars in this category. - RJH 19:50, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)
    • Okay the table is now about as complete as I can make it, based on readily available information. - RJH 15 Apr 2005.


  • Should Wikilinks to "Gliese ###" stars be to "Gl ###" or to "Gliese ###"? IMHO the latter is more desireable. --Bletch 15:24, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)
    • I'm not sure. The 'Gl' or 'GJ' is the usual notation in most sources. RJH 22:35, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)
      • I think that "Gliese ###" would be better because "Gl ###" is an abbreviation. It may be a well established abbreviation, but it is still an abbreviation. And when I see articles about extra solar planets (like this one:, they say "Gliese". Having a Wikipedia article titled "Gl 876" is like having an article about the United States titled "US" or "USA" rather than "United States of America". --Bletch 16:58, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)
        • Okay. RJH 19:32, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)
          • Then again the same logic can be applied to HD, HR, BD and CD. You never see "Bonner Durchmusterung +48° 2259" for example. Also GJ subsumes the older Gl, so that appears to be the accepted norm. :-) — RJH 23:00, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
IMHO the best way to proceed is to use full name for one-word abbreviations (Gliese instead of Gl in the case of original Gliese stars, Messier instead of M, A -> Abell and so on) and abbreviation for longer designations (NGC instead of New General Catalogue, HD instead of Henry Draper, etc.; no one uses those unabbreviated names anyway). For the same reason, newer Gliese-Jahreiss (sp?) stars should be GJ ####.--Jyril 13:41, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Add Magnitude of stars as seen from earth[edit]

In this table the value of magnitude at which the star appears on the terestrial sky may not be forgotten! I provided for this important value a column! Please add the values!

All of the data for stars less than 13 parsecs is now updated with Hipparcos data using proper motions to bring it into line with J2000.0. The magnitudes of some binary stars are integrated on some of the Hipparcos entries, so have largely used a different source for those. The exception is Xi Ursae Majoris A&B, which don't have any Hipparcos data (despite being catalogued as HIP55203.) Richard B 00:47, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

Add Year of Equinox[edit]

At the column with right ascension and declination the year of equinox must be added!

Done Richard B 14:01 23 November 2005 (UTC)

RA precision[edit]

I'm not quite clear why somebody set the precision of the R.A. coordinate to hundredths of a second of arc. Under the very best seeing conditions and a decent telescope, you're lucky to be able to resolve a second of arc, never mind a hundredth. I would think rounding to a tenth of a second would be more than sufficient for the purposes of an encyclopedia. :) — RJH 16:17, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

It's actually not 0.01 arcsec. RA is measured in hours, minutes, seconds - not degrees, minutes, seconds. 1 second of RA is equivalent to 15 seconds of declination at the equator (and 15 arcseconds). 0.01 seconds of RA is therefore equal to 0.15 arcseconds (again at the equator) - so it's actually rounded to worse than 1/10 arcsecond already. Richard B 16:49, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough. Thanks. — RJH 22:47, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Proxima Centauri?[edit]

Excuse my naivety in astronomy... but the closest star to earth is Proxima Centauri which is strangely abscent from the chart. Is this because it has been grouped with Alpha Centauri A & B somehow? Enigmatical 02:37, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

This is a list of nearest bright stars. Proxima Centauri is a very dim star. It is visually dimmer than most stars on the list even as seen from Alpha Centauri itself.--Jyril 05:09, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Magnitude of the Sun at 50 ly[edit]

The following statement was added to the text:

At roughly 50 light years, the sun is no longer visible to the naked eye.

In this article, the Sun is listed with an absolute visual magnitude Mv of 4.80. Per the absolute magnitude article, at a distance of 50 light years, the apparent magnitude m of the Sun would be:

where D is the distance of 50 ly in parsecs (= 15.33). This result is above the limiting magnitude for a dark sky, which is 6 (or lower depending on the observer).

Thus, unless I am mistaken, I think the statement is in error, so I removed the statement from the article.—RJH (talk) 17:57, 17 February 2010 (UTC)