Which stars have a greater apparent brightness (lower apparent magnitude) than any stars that are further away? (i.e. the only stars that appear brighter than them are also closer)

  • $\begingroup$ This is very confusing. By greater apparent magnitude you mean fainter? Or are you just asking what is the most luminous star? $\endgroup$
    – ProfRob
    Commented Apr 3, 2023 at 11:36
  • $\begingroup$ No, I meant brighter. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 3, 2023 at 11:40

2 Answers 2


It is a fairly short list, due to the uncertainty in determining distance to stars.

Name Magnitude Distance Note
Sun -27 1AU No star closer, no star brighter
Sirus -1.46 8.6 The only star brighter than Sirius is the sun, which is closer
Canopus -0.74 310 3rd brightest star. Sirius is brighter, but closer.
Rigel 0.13 860 Brighter stars include Alpha Centauri and Vega, but these are closer
Deneb 1.25 2600 The exact distance isn't very well determined, but it is certainly brighter than any more distant star.

Accurate distances from parallax aren't available for more distant stars, so this list ends here. The next on the list might be Anilam (Epsilon Orionis) It is uncertain if it is closer or more distant than Deneb, as there are significant uncertainties in both of their distances.


This is the full list of 49 stars (except the Sun) brighter than +2Mag, which are closer than the last star listed in the table above.



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