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To Meet or to Watch ---- the Stars, Vega and Altair

By Lywet (Chinadaily.com.cn)

19:17, August 17, 2012

(Xinhua)

The Weaving Maid, star Vega in the Lyra constellation east of the Milky Way, is the 5th brightest star in the sky, bright enough for you to find on a summer night. It is 16 times bigger and 25 times brighter than the Sun and is 25 light years away from the Earth.

The cowherd, Altair, a bright star in the constellation Aquila west of the Milky Way, is the 11th brightest star in the sky. Altair is 4 times bigger and 11 times brighter than the Sun. It's closer to us than the Weaving Maid, star Vega, but still, it takes 17 light years for its light to reach the Earth. The two stars next to the Altair in the Aquila constellation, Alshain and Tarazed, are said to be the cowherd's two children he took with him when chasing the Maid to Heaven on the cowhide.

Will Vega meet Altair in the sky on the double seventh? Actually, it is 16 light years from Vega to Altair. Think of it, if the cowherd sends a telegraph on Altair to the Weaving Maid, it will reach her in 16 years. And if a magpie's bridge for the Weaving Maid and the cowherd really exist, can you imagine how long the bridge would have to be?

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