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Capella is the main star in the constellation of Auriga. It is with 0.1 magnitudes the sixth brightest star in the night sky and after Arcturus and Vega the third brightest star in the northern sky. Capella is also the northern tip of the winter hexagon.
Facts about Capella
Capella belongs to the circumpolar stars. Therefore Capella is always somewhere in the sky, while its constellation Auriga is going down. Capella is also a four-star system that contains two pairs of binary stars. It consists of the components Aa and Ab as well as H and L. The first binary pair belongs to the yellow giants and orbits very closely. The second pair of binary stars (Capella H and Capella L) are red dwarfs, which are relatively cool and faint. With a distance of 42 light years Capella belongs to the neighboring star of the Sun and is very close to Earth. In addition, Capella is 13 times larger than the sun and its luminosity is 90 times that of the sun.
Visibility of Capella
At night Capella sparkles in a deep yellowish-white color. Due to its high brightness, it can be seen with the naked eye in most mid-latitudes in the USA and Europe. However, in the winter months, it is more likely to shine in the northern latitudes. In the northern hemisphere, Capella can only be seen at night at a certain time throughout the year.