Stars Visible At Night and Dimmer Than the Sun
(Visible to the unaided eye but with absoute magnitudes dimmer than 4.85)

In order by distance
  ***     Star Name     Apparent
  Magnitude  
  Absolute
  Magnitude    
  Dist  
  (LY)    
    Comments    
  1     Epsilon Eridani     3.72     6.18     10.5      
  2     61 Cygni AB     4.80*     7.49   8.31     11.4     dimmest visible star
  by absolute magnitude  
  3     Epsilon Indi     4.69     6.89     11.8      
  4     Tau Ceti     3.49     5.68     11.9     brightest star dimmer than Sun  
  5     36 Ophiuchi ABC     4.20*     6.18   6.22   7.45     13.1      
  6     Omicron Eridani     4.43     5.92     16.4      
  7     70 Ophiuchi     4.24     5.71     16.6      
  8     Sigma Draconis     4.67     5.87     18.8      
  9     P Eridani AB     5.10*     6.27   6.40     19.0      
  10     Gliese 570(33 G. Librae)     5.72     6.86     19.3      
  11     82G Eridani     4.26     5.35     19.7      
  12     Gliese 783(279 G. Sagittaii)     5.32     6.41     19.7      
  13     Xi Bootis AB     4.60*     5.59   7.84     20.7      
  14     BD+56 2966     5.57     6.50     21.2      
  15     Gliese 105     5.79     6.50     23.5      
  16     Mu Cassiopeiae     5.17     5.87     23.6      
  17     HD 4628     5.74     6.38     24.3      
  18     107 Piscium     5.24     5.87     24.4      
  19     61 Virginis     4.74     5.09     27.7      
  20     G Arae     5.55     5.83     28.6      
  21     HD 192310     5.73     6.00     28.8      
  22     Kappa1 Ceti     4.84     5.03     29.9      
  23     HD102365     4.89     5.06     30.1      
  24     61 Ursae Majoris     5.31     5.41     31.1      
  25     HR 4458     5.96     6.06     31.1      
  26     12 Ophiuchi     5.77     5.82     31.8      
  27     HR 511     5.63     5.64     32.4      
  28     Gliese 75     5.63     5.64     32.4      
  29     Alpha Mensae     5.08     5.05     33.0      
  30     54 Piscium     5.88     5.65     36.2      
  31     11 Leonis Minoris     5.40     5.16     36.4      
  32     Zeta1 Reticuli     5.53     5.11     39.5      
  33     85 Pegasi     5.81     5.34     40.5      
  34     55 Cancri     5.96     5.47     40.8      
  35     HD 69830     5.95     5.45     41.0      
  36     HD 104304     5.54     4.99     42.0      
  37     HD 172051     5.85     5.28     42.4      
  38     58 Eridani     5.63     5.01     43.4      
  39     HD 166     5.92     5.23     44.8      
  40     Pi1 Ursae Majoris     5.63     4.86     46.5      
  41     Psi Serpentis     5.86     5.03     47.8      
  42     HD 4391     5.80     4.93     48.7      
                    * Apparent Magnitude of brighter star.

Perhaps you have heard that there are about 6,000 stars visible at night with the unaided eye. Did you ever wonder how many of these stars are brighter than the Sun?

Well, the 42 stars listed above, are the only ones you can see with the unaided eye that are dimmer than the Sun. (That is to say, these 42 stars are the only ones visible at night that have an absolute magnitude greater than 4.85).
So, on any clear night, the odds are 99.3% (or 5,958 ÷ 6,000), that any star you can see is brighter than the Sun.

You may not have heard of any of these stars because they are so dim, they don't have special names (such as "Sirus" or "Rigel") and they are seldom (if ever) mentioned in any science fiction movies or books.

One of these stars does have significance in astronomical history. The star 61 Cygni was the first star to have its stellar parallax and therefore its distance measured.


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