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Stellar characteristics
Right ascension (Epoch J2000)19h 50m 46.9990s
Declination (Epoch J2000)+08° 52' 05.959"
Spectral typeA7V
Distance from Sol16.77 ± 0.08
Other designationsAtair, Hikoboshi, α Aquilae, α Aql, Alpha Aquilae, Alpha Aql, 53 Aquilae, 53 Aql, STFB 10A, ADS 13009 A,BD+08°4236, CCDM J19508+0852A, FK5 745, GC 27470, GCTP 4665.00, GJ 768, HD 187642, HIP 97649, HR 7557, IDS 19459+0836 A, LFT 1499, LHS 3490, LTT 15795, NLTT 48314, PPM 168779, SAO 125122, TD1 25537, WDS 19508+0852A
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Altair (or Alpha Aquilae), an A-type main sequence δ Scuti variable star, is the twelfth-brightest star in Earth's night sky.

Altair has approximately 1.8 times the mass of the Sun and 11 times its luminosity. Altair possesses an extremely rapid rate of rotation; it has a rotational period of approximately 9 hours. For comparison, the equator of the Sun requires just over 25 days for a complete rotation. This rapid rotation forces Altair to be oblate; its equatorial diameter is over 20 percent greater than its polar diameter.

There are many and various references to Altair in fiction - too many for any faction to claim any "right" to visit the system first. Thus, the system was first surveyed by a group of Fendane generalists associated with Harvard University.

Planetary System

There are no signs of native intelligent life in the Altair system, extant or extinct, much to the dismay of many Fen. All known artifacts in the system were brought there from Earth.

Much like the parent star, the planets in the Altair system have a high degree of angular momentum; each planet's day is measured in a handful of hours. Most have nothing of interest to anyone but astronomers, who study the fast-rotating worlds (by remote) and try to figure out why they haven't torn themselves apart yet.

Altair I and Altair II are hot airless rockballs, much like Mercury.

Altair III is a small gas giant, two-thirds the size of Neptune.

Altair IV is a yellowish-green and pleasant terrestrial world, reminiscent of modern Earth in a different set of colors.[1] It is the laggard of the system, having a rotational period of approximately six hours. The atmosphere is thin but breathable, but some of the dissolved salts in the oceans and the local lifeforms are incompatible with terrestrial life; this makes Altair IV a less-than-ideal candidate for colonization.

Altair V is a frozen rockball, much like Ceres.


  1. This disappointed the Forbidden Planet and The Tommyknockers Fen immensely.