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Vega (or Alpha Lyrae) - Fascinating Star



Next time your are out stargazing, take a look at Vega. It's easy to find as it is so bright! It is found in the Constellation Lyra.

Around 12,000 BC, the Earths axis actually pointed towards Vega, so at that time it was the "North Star". In 14,500 A.D, it will become the "North Star" once again.

It is only 25.3 light years away, making it one of the closest Stars to Earth.

A fascinating fact to highlight is with respect to its physical properties. Vega rotates at 274 km/s at its equator, for a rotation period of 12.5 hours. This is actually 93% of the speed it would take for the star to break-up from centrifugal effects. In turn, that makes the equator bulge outward 23% compared to its polar radius!

- Adapted from STARS by Jim Kaler, Prof. Emeritus of Astronomy, University of Illinois -

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