From this image, can you help me identify the star circled in yellow? This picture was taken mostly above my head, but facing slightly southeast, from the southwestern corner of Virginia.

unknown star

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    $\begingroup$ For future reference, most star fields can be identified with nova.astrometry.net $\endgroup$ Dec 15, 2023 at 4:51
  • $\begingroup$ @GregMiller I would write an answer (or possibly even a question and answer) containing that, otherwise we could get an inexhaustible supply of similar questions that aren't duplicates. $\endgroup$
    – ProfRob
    Dec 15, 2023 at 12:40

1 Answer 1


The circled star is Procyon (α CMi). The other stars, from the top, are Castor (α Gem), Pollux (β Gem), Al Kirkab (κ Gem), then the almost central triangle formed by Wasat (δ Gem), Mekbuda (ζ Gem), and Alkibash (λ Gem), then to its right Alhena (γ Gem) and Alzirr (ξ Gem). Just above and to the right of circled Procyon is Gomeisa (β CMi), and at bottom right the brightest star in the image is also the brightest star in the sky, viz. Sirius (α CMa), and to its right Murzim (β CMa).

Hope this helps!

I visited southwest Virginia many years ago. Nice neck of the woods. I stayed in Wise, but also went to Norton a few times.

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    $\begingroup$ Accepted as the answer, thank you very much for your fast response! 🙏 $\endgroup$
    – rclev
    Dec 12, 2023 at 8:53
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    $\begingroup$ Just out of curiosity and in the vein of the OP: Is there anything special about Procyon? And known planets, is it close etc.? (Yes, I can google all that, but it would be nice to have a few details here for posterity.) Any while I'm not a diagnosed schizophrenic I do read SF, which probably puts me somewhere on the spectrum, if you want, because just imagine other people start dreaming about this star, start building clay mounts in their living room and feel drawn to a certain location accidentally in the U.S.! ;-) Then this would be the first time it surfaced. Just sayin'. $\endgroup$ Dec 13, 2023 at 17:56
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    $\begingroup$ @Peter-ReinstateMonica It's a main sequence star with a white dwarf companion, neither are known to have planets. It's quite close (11 ly) and one of the brightest stars in the sky, so it's been ascribed plenty of cultural and astrological significance. It is, of course, the home of the Chenjesu. $\endgroup$
    – Schwern
    Dec 13, 2023 at 18:11
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    $\begingroup$ @Peter-ReinstateMonica Good list at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… $\endgroup$ Dec 14, 2023 at 8:39

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