International Star Registry

All Constellations

Aquila - Eagle

Aquila is easily located by its brightest star, Altair, Arabic for eagle. Altair is a bright, white star of .9 magnitude only 16 light years away, almost a next door neighbor. Altair is part of the Summer Triangle with Deneb in Cygnus and Vega in Lyra.

Aquila was formally pictured as carrying Antinous, the favorite page of Emperor Hadrian, to heaven in its talons. This configuration was discontinued by all but the German astronomers long ago.

Mythology usually attributes the eagle to Jupiter or Zeus. One story is that Aquila carried Ganymede, the most beautiful of all mortals, to Olympus to fill the cup of Zeus and live among the gods. As a reward, the eagle was included in the constellation.

Another myth has it that this is the eagle that brought nectar to Jupiter while he was lying low in the cave on Crete, avoiding the fury of his father, Saturn.

Some of the ancient poets say this is the eagle which furnished Jupiter with weapons in his war with the giants.
Right Ascension 07:42
Diameter (°)15
Area (square °)652
Opposition Jul 16
Size Rank 22nd
Brightness Rank 23rd