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Stephen James O'Meara’s Secret Sky: Order from “chaos”

March 2011: The naming of stars follows a definite pattern — it just might not be the one you’re expecting.
In my September 2010 column about observing the sky’s reddest stars, a reader noticed that Tarazed (Gamma [γ] Aquilae), had a brighter listed magnitude (2.7) than Alshain (Beta [β] Aquilae) (3.7). Shouldn’t a second-rank Beta star shine brighter than a third-rank Gamma star, he wondered?

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