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The vegetarian star

October 2013: Celebrate one of the sky's most familiar luminaries.
RELATED TOPICS: STARS
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It’s been years since the “Strange Universe” column spotlighted a star, any star. How hard is it to choose one from among the 6,000 naked-eye luminaries?
 
It’s a piece of cake. Most stars are dim and cursed with designations like HD 140283 or Zubenelgenubi. Only a handful are brilliant and have popular names. Of them, just one floats directly overhead at this time of year. So it’s automatic. Vega (Alpha [α] Lyrae) selects itself.

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