Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Number of visible stars, visible with the unaided eye ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Number of visible stars, visible with the unaided eye
Category: Science > Astronomy
Asked by: porkandbeans-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 30 Jun 2006 13:22 PDT
Expires: 30 Jul 2006 13:22 PDT
Question ID: 742414
How many stars are visible to the unaided human eye from the surface
of the Earth?  Optimal conditons are nighttime, new moon, winter. 
Includes all land masses and bodies of water.  Thanks.
Subject: Re: Number of visible stars, visible with the unaided eye
Answered By: eiffel-ga on 30 Jun 2006 14:36 PDT
Hi porkandbeans-ga,

Everyone's eyes differ, but a figure of around 6000 visible stars is
often quoted (with around half visible from any point on earth). At
sea level in a rural area you might see around 2000, and in an urban
area you might be lucky to see 20.

You can't count the stars directly. Due to the rotation of the earth,
more keep appearing on one side and disappearing from the other. As
atmospheric conditions change, some stars become visible and some
become invisible. Instead, people look through a tube, count the stars
in that field of view, and scale that figure up to obtain an estimate
for the total.

If you want a specific number, The Yale Bright Star Catalog catalogs
the "naked eye visible stars", which they consider to be those with a
magnitude of 6.5 or brighter. Those have been catalogued and listed,
and there are 9110 entries in that list:

   The Bright Star Catalog

But if you want to see all of them, you'll need ideal conditions: good
eyes, several high altitude viewpoints in different parts of the
earth, a moonless night, no aurora, and air that is absolutely still,
clear and dry.

Classification of star brightness as its "Magnitude" is explained here:


I trust this provides the information that you are seeking.


Google Search Strategy:

"there are * visible stars"

"how many stars"
There are no comments at this time.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy