My daughter, age 2, looked up in the Ohio sky (we have very poor star-viewing compared to Arizona) and pointed at a light. She said "what is that". I said "that is a star, honey". She said "can you get it for me, I can't reach".

I have an app named skyview and I took a screenshot, but I lost the name. It was visible from Ohio at 9:27pm on the 5th of September; the image was nearly straight up. what its name was.

Here is the image:
enter image description here

Update: I know what Jupiter is, and the skyview app shows it as a Voyager-style picture of the planet. I'm sure the star she wanted was not Jupiter. I do not remember

Here is what Jupiter looks like in the app. The background is my cubicle, not the night sky.
enter image description here

Can you help me determine which star it is?

I think it is Gliese, but I can't remember and I don't know with any confidence.

Extra credit: How do I give it to her. I'm thinking of getting it painted by an artist. If it has planets or is a multi-star system that would go well in a painting. Understanding some of the stellar dynamics would also be a help in making a reasonable rendering. Also, can you tell me any of the names of the decently capable artists who render quasi-realistic astronomic bodies that I might be able to ask to render this.

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    $\begingroup$ Gliese's a catalog of stars, not an individual star. Stars that go by their Gliese catalog number generally aren't bright-enough in the night sky to be spotted by the unaided eye. $\endgroup$
    – notovny
    Sep 22, 2021 at 21:24
  • $\begingroup$ By far the brightest "star" visible at that time is Jupiter. Was this a bright star? In what direction was it? How high above the horizon was it? Jupiter was in the south East sky about 1/4 of the way from the horizon to the zenith $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Sep 22, 2021 at 21:48
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    $\begingroup$ @JamesK - updated answer to show how app represents Jupiter. Pretty sure it was not Jupiter. In Ohio there are tons of huge trees, so the sky can be pretty occluded. The image was nearly straight up, for what it's worth. $\endgroup$ Sep 22, 2021 at 22:00
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    $\begingroup$ How do I give it to her? You can get plush stars... $\endgroup$ Sep 23, 2021 at 12:08

1 Answer 1


"Nearly straight up" suggests Vega.

At that time and location it is only 5 degrees from the Zenith. It is a notably bright star, much brighter than any which are nearby.

Vega is a bright nearby star system. It isn't known to have planets, but is surrounded by a disk of dust and debris surrounding it. It spins rapidly, pulling it into an oblate shape.

2021-09-05 21:27 EDT from Cincinnati from https://in-the-sky.org/skymap.php

2021-09-05 21:27 EDT from Cincinnati

IAU Lyra chart

IAU Lyra chart Source

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    $\begingroup$ Regarding OP's "I'm thinking of getting it painted", here is an artist's rendition of Vega with its asteroid belt. $\endgroup$
    – nanoman
    Sep 23, 2021 at 12:35
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    $\begingroup$ Great Answer! Coupled with the fact that OP is in an area that has poor star-viewing, and his 2 year old daughter was able to see it (apparently without much guidance needed), I'd bet it was Vega as well, just from brightness alone. $\endgroup$
    – BruceWayne
    Sep 23, 2021 at 16:38
  • $\begingroup$ That "in-the-sky.org" site is nice. It looks like the two others that are bright and visible are Deneb and Altair, but Vega looks like the only real contender. $\endgroup$ Sep 28, 2021 at 20:27

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