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Brightest Objects in the Sky

Can you name the brightest extraterrestrial objects in the sky, as viewed from Earth?
Date from here and elsewhere on Wikipedia
Based on maximal brightness, not average
Quiz by scambigol
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Last updated: August 21, 2017
First submittedJuly 20, 2014
Times taken6,397
Rating4.32
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V Mag
Object
-26.7
Sun
-12.7
Moon
-4.9
Venus
-4
International Space Station
-3.0
Mars
-2.94
Jupiter
-2.6
Mercury
-1.46
Sirius
-0.74
Canopus
-0.27
Alpha Centauri
-0.24
Saturn
V Mag
Object
-0.05
Arcturus
-0.02
Vega
0.03
Capella
0.05
Rigel
0.2
Betelgeuse
0.34
Procyon
0.40
Achernar
0.61
Beta Centauri
0.75
Aldebaran
0.76
Altair
0.76
Alpha Crucis
+2
level 56
Jul 23, 2014
International Space Station?
+3
level 71
Jul 23, 2014
Thanks! I was thinking that maybe I was missing something but I didn't find a proper list. I've added it at -4 as that's what it says http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Space_Station although it can reach -5.9 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apparent_magnitude
+1
level 49
Feb 17, 2016
I am from Beeeeeeeeetlejuice 4!!! (Ford Prefect)
+1
level 67
Aug 5, 2017
Why not call yourself Zogg?
+1
level 28
Jul 22, 2016
I thought that there are only included stars. I feel like a fool now.
+1
level 74
Aug 22, 2017
I typed moon, but totally forgot to continue with others ...
+1
level 46
Jul 18, 2017
Iridium satellite flares? (Just kidding)
+1
level 55
Aug 30, 2017
I mean that is a valid point. if the ISS is included, why shouldn't Iridium Flares? They can be as bright as mag -7
+1
level 23
Oct 18, 2017
I think only permanent objects should be considered, so no flares. For that matter, the ISS is fairly ephemeral but I think its fair enough to include it.
+1
level 72
Aug 20, 2017
Why the update? Has a new bright star appeared?
+2
level 84
Aug 20, 2017
Including ISS is arguable. It originated from earth, and so is not really 'extraterrestrial', plus, technically, it's low earth orbit is still within the earth's atmosphere.
+1
level 44
Aug 23, 2017
22% disagree with your logic.
+1
level 23
Oct 18, 2017
It only appears every few days too.
+1
level 64
Aug 21, 2017
I felt so stupid getting only 12, but then I saw the average is 9 and I feel better. I like hard quizzes like this.
+1
level 67
Aug 21, 2017
Hard? I got 20 on my first try.
+1
level 58
Jun 3, 2019
Still hard, even if your limitless intellect tells you otherwise.
+2
level 70
Aug 21, 2017
Hard for mere mortals. I got 13. It was difficult for me too. I hope I can be as smart as mahble when I grow up.
+1
level 62
Aug 21, 2017
Dang, I typed in Space Station, but not International.
+1
level 59
Aug 21, 2017
Same here. Should be added surely.
+1
level 39
Aug 21, 2017
Nice quiz!
+1
level 55
Aug 21, 2017
cool!
+1
level 77
Aug 21, 2017
I used to know well the names of Vega, Arcturus, Procyon, etc... some of them featured in fan-fiction authored by myself or my girlfriend in high school. We were both sci-fi geeks. And I studied Astronomy once a long time ago. Now, 20 years later, I only could remember 3 stars, but I got all the other objects.
+1
level 67
Aug 21, 2017
ASTRONOMY NERDS FOR THE WINNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!
+2
level 77
Aug 21, 2017
Are Halley's and other comets not brighter than some of these stars? Do these objects have to be visible from Earth at all times? I would think not since it is based on maximal brightness not averages. Though... then you open up the possibility of objects entering the atmosphere. I bet the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs was pretty damn bright for at least a short while.
+1
level 77
Aug 21, 2017
Nevermind. I looked it up and apparently Halley's Comet only has an apparent magnitude of 28
+1
level 67
Aug 21, 2017
Right now it does - when it gets to the inner solar system its magnitude is lower than 6, making it a great comet. The brightest comets ever, though, have gotten all the way to -10 (Comet Ikeya-Seki).
+1
level 67
Aug 21, 2017
And Halley's comet can get at least to -2.
+2
level 77
Aug 22, 2017
Then why isn't it on the quiz since it says it's according to maximal brightness?
+1
level 66
Aug 21, 2017
If ISS is on there, couldn't we include satellites? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_flare
+1
level 46
Aug 21, 2017
Ugh, I swear I typed in Aldebaran! 21/22. I'm seeing that Antares has a maximum magnitude of 0.6, though
+2
level 52
Aug 21, 2017
Would comets such as Halley's be acceptable or no?
+2
level 72
Aug 21, 2017
Definitely some more guidance needed here. I realize you can't do anything about long-period comets, but Halley's should be on there. And many of the meteor showers (e.g. Perseids) reach negative magnitudes regularly.
+1
level 42
Aug 22, 2017
I love this quiz! Creative...
+1
level 76
Sep 4, 2018
Holy crap, the ISS is extraterrestrial?! What planet did it come from???
+2
level 62
Jan 2, 2019
The international space station is extraterrestial? Are you sirius??
+1
level 66
Mar 24, 2019
I guess Polaris isn’t bright enough to make it on here.
+1
level 62
Apr 25, 2019
How cool is it that we as humans have created one of the items on this list?
+1
level 72
Jul 18, 2019
The fact that only half of the (reasonably knowledgeable) people on this site know the brightest star in the night sky depresses me.
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