Altair Star

-Rachel Black

Facts

  1. Type of Star: A-Type main sequence star

  2. Percent of known stars: 0.7%

  3. Type of fusion: Hydrogen to Helium

  4. Relative size (Mass AND Radius): Mass-1.79 Radius-1.63

  5. Distance from Earth (light year): 16.73 light years

  6. Color/temperature (Kelvin)/luminosity: Color-white (10.6 L) Temp-1,900-8,500 K

Other Information

  1. Myths/History: The star, Altair, has been used since medieval times. In Arabic, the constellation Aquila and the star in it, Altair, mean eagle. In classical mythology, Aquila/Altair, was an eagled favored by Zeus. In another myth, Aquila is the eagle that torments Prometheus, and is shot with a poisoned arrow by Hercules.

  2. Binary, multiple or single star system: Multiple star system

  3. Constellation: Aquila

  4. Planets: No but they have found heavy elements

Fun facts: Altair is the brightest star in the Aquila constellation. From earth, it is one of the closest stars visible to the naked eye. It is the twelfth brightest star in the night sky.
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Stages of Altair

Altair, like most stars, start off as a nebula. A nebula is a cloud of dust and gas. The nebula collapses and becomes a main sequence star. This is what Altair is right now. As a main sequence star, hydrogen is being turned into helium. Soon, the helium will run out and it will become a red giant star. The red giant star will eventually eject 90% of its mass and become a white dwarf. At this point there is only 10% of what was originally there. The white dwarf will cool and lastly becomes a black dwarf.

How do we know?

One of the reasons why we know about Altair is because we can see it so we know it's there. It is one of the brightest/closest stars in the solar system so you don't necessarily need a telescope to see it. We also know know about this star because of satellite measurements. Lastly, Altair has been around for a long time. The Aquila constellation was originally catalogued by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century.