The star Altair
(α Aquilae), in the Aquila constellation
, is a white star
of visual magnitude
0.77 located 17 light years away.
It is the twelfth brightest
star in the skies and one of the closest visible stars. This star is a vertex
of the Summer Triangle
. Altair is most notable for its extremely rapid rotation; by measuring the width of its spectral lines, it was determined that its equator
does a complete rotation in about 6 1/2 hours. In comparison, our star, the Sun
, requires a little more than 25 days for a complete rotation.
Altair, along with β and γ Aquilae, form the well-known line of stars sometimes referred to as the shaft of Aquila.
The name Altair come from the arabic words al-nasr al-tair, which mean the flying eagle.
See Chinese Valentines Day.
This star was ill-omened in astrology
, portending danger from reptiles
was one of the first personal computers
, released in 1975