A

David

Darling

Aquila (abbreviation: Aql, genitive: Aquilae)

Aquila constellation

Aquila. © 2005 Torsten Bronger.


Aquila, the Eagle (of Zeus), is a distinctive constellation on the celestial equator that spreads across many rich fields. Due to a lane of obscuring dust known as the Great Rift, the Milky Way splits in two through this constellation and also through Ophiuchus. Aquila has been a fruitful hunting ground for nova-seekers, producing four since 1899, including two of the brightest on record. One of these, in AD 389, became as bright as Venus; the other, in 1918, outshone Altair. See below for details of the constellation's brightest stars and interesting deep sky objects.

 


Stars brighter than magnitude 4.0
Star Visual
mag.
Abs.
mag.
Spectral
type
Distance
(lt-yr)
R.A. (h m s) Dec. (° ' '' )
Alpha (Altair) 0.76 2.20 A7V 16.8 19 50 47 +08 52 06
Gamma (Tarazed) 2.72 -3.03 K3II 460 19 46 15 +10 36 48
Zeta (Dheneb) 2.99 0.95 A0Vn 83 19 05 24 +13 51 48
Theta 3.24 -1.49 B9.5III 287 20 11 18 -00 49 17
Delta 3.36 2.42 F3IV 50 19 25 30 +03 06 53
Lambda (Althalimain) 3.43 0.51 B9Vn 125 19 06 15 -04 52 57
Beta (Alshain) 3.71 3.02 G8IV 45 19 55 19 +06 24 24
Eta Aquilae 3.87 -3.91v F6Ibv 1,170 19 52 28 +01 00 20


Other objects of interest
Name Type of object Notes
GRS 1915+105 star A star system containing the most massive known stellar black hole
NGC 6803 planetary nebula A small bright ring. Magnitude 11.4; diameter 6"; R.A. 19h 29m, Dec. +09° 58'
NGC 6891 planetary nebula A bright disk and faint ring. Magnitude 12; diameter 1.2'; R.A. 20h 13m, Dec. +12° 35'
NGC 6709 open cluster A loose cluster arranged in a diamond formation with a bright star at each apex. Magnitude 6.7; diameter 13'; R.A. 18h 49m, Dec. +10° 17'


Constellations
Andromeda | Antlia | Apus | Aquarius | Aquila | Ara | Aries | Auriga | Bootes | Caelum | Camelopardalis | Cancer | Canes Venatici | Canis Major | Canis Minor | Capricornus | Carina | Cassiopeia | Centaurus | Cepheus | Cetus | Chamaeleon | Circinus | Columba | Coma Berenices | Corona Austrina | Corona Borealis | Corvus | Crater | Crux | Cygnus | Delphinus | Dorado | Draco | Equuleus | Eridanus | Fornax | Gemini | Grus | Hercules | Horologium | Hydra | Hydrus | Indus | Lacerta | Leo | Leo Minor | Lepus | Libra | Lupus | Lynx | Lyra | Mensa | Microscopium | Monoceros | Musca | Norma | Octans | Ophiuchus | Orion | Pavo | Pegasus | Perseus | Phoenix | Pictor | Pisces | Piscis Austrinus | Puppis | Pyxis | Reticulum | Sagitta | Sagittarius | Scorpius | Sculptor | Scutum | Serpens | Sextans | Taurus | Telescopium | Triangulum | Triangulum Australe | Tucana | Ursa Major | Ursa Minor | Vela | Virgo | Volans | Vulpecula