# How to make other stars visible to the naked eye in the day sky

In my world each person has the ability to call upon the power of a star; using it to further whatever end they’d want—i.e. using the sun’s energy to power a spell. However, they can ONLY call upon the power of the visible stars in the sky and once the stars are on the other side of the planet they cannot call on them. An example of such a star is the sun. People can call upon its power while it is in the sky, but once it sets they cannot.

Now, granted that the sun is the only visible day star—so, therefore the only star whose power people can call upon—is there a way for me to make other stars other than the sun visible in the day sky, thereby increasing the number of power sources?

• Other than during an eclipse or flying really really high? You can see a handful of first magnitude stars (the likes of Betelgeuse, Rigel or Sirius) in daytime with a reasonably good amateur telescope, provided you know where to look and point the telescope precisely. Aug 29, 2020 at 17:14
• Just make the sun be naturally weaker and dimmer, like a "brown dwarf" sun. Sep 1, 2020 at 9:27

Simple answer: make them brighter / bring them closer.

It's already possible to see Venus during daytime (if it's not too close to the Sun, and well above the horizon); the main problem is that you need to know where to look.

Venus has a magnitude of about -4; the brightest star in the night sky, Sirius, is about -1.5, which is a factor 10 fainter (magnitudes are logarithmic, a lower number means brighter, and 5 degrees correspond to a factor of 100). If you put Sirius three times closer to Earth than it is right now, it will appear to be nine times brighter and be visible during daytime.

Some supernovae (exploding stars) in our own galaxy were visible in daylight for short periods, e.g. the one from 1054.

I think a less thick atmosphere would work too, but can't do the math, and it has other effects on the life on Earth too. Bringing some bright main line stars closer (but not within the Solar System, of course – think Alpha Centauri distance) doesn't.

• IIRC, experiments have actually shown that Sirius can technically be visible during daytime - when it's at a convenient place in the sky, and the sun is about to set. Aug 30, 2020 at 11:08

Clear "line of sight" does not necessitate you see.

Line of sight means no obstructions in the way. On a very dark night, I may not see my friend on the other side of a field. But I know he is there; I saw him head that way and he just now turned off his flashlight. If I call him he will hear me. He is in my line of sight; there is nothing in between. It is just dark.

So too the stars. They are up there, in line of sight, but we are dazzled by the sun. If there were an eclipse or we were above the atmosphere we could see them. There is nothing in the way. We can call them too, sight unseen.

If my friend has kept walking thru the dark and is down over the hill he will not hear me when I call. Once the earth has turned and they are no longer in line of sight we cannot call on the stars either, day or night.

Part One of Five: Spells to See Stars in the Day Sky.

As the planet orbits its star (if your world is a planet orbiting a star) the stars visible during the night will slowly shift to the day side, and stars on the day side will slowly shift to the night side in a seasonal cycle.

Someone who uses a star for magic during the night will find it gradually appearing less and less during the night. Thus they would have incentives to make spells enabling them to see that star during the daytime, perhaps by enabling them to see wavelengths of light that penetrate clouds easier than visible light does.

And thus that type of spell might enable someone to see their magic stars during the day and the night. But no star will be visible above the horizon, in day or in night, more than about half the time if your world is a rotating sphere. So people will need to have magic links to at least two stars on directly opposite sides of the sky, and preferably more stars spaced closer together.

Part Two: A World With a Less Dense Atmosphere.

You could create a world with a less dense atmosphere but a higher concentration of oxygen in that atmosphere so people have enough oxygen to breath.

The Earth's atmosphere is nitrogen 78.084 percent, oxygen 20.0946 percent, argon 0.934 percent, carbon dioxide 0.041361 percent, and lesser trace gases, as well as 0 to 3 percent water vapor.

Humans need the oxygen to breathe, and some carbon dioxide for plant photosynthesis, and some water vapor for rain, and some nitrogen for plants to acquire from the atmosphere. The total atmospheric pressure could probably be as low as 50 or 25 percent of its current value for humans to survive, especially if one of the things they use star magic for is helping their breathing.

Habitable Planets For Man, Stephen H. Dole, 1964, discusses habitable atmospheric pressure on pages 13 to 19.

To summarize then, the atmosphere of a habitable planet must contain oxygen with an inspired partial pressure between 60 and 400 millimeters of mercury and carbon dioxide with a partial pressure roughly between 0.05 and 7 millimeters of mercury. In addition, the partial pressures of the inert gases must be below certain specified limits and other toxic gases must not be present in more than trace amounts. Some nitrogen must be present so that nitrogen in its combined form can find its way into plants.

https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/commercial_books/2007/RAND_CB179-1.pdf

Since the sea level atmospheric pressure of Earth is about 760 millimeters of mercury, and an atmospheric pressure of only 70 or 80 millimeters of mercury would probably be acceptable if of the right composition, your human like characters could probably survive in a world with an atmospheric density as low as 9.2 to 10.52 percent of Earth's sea level pressure.

That should reduce how much the atmosphere dims the light of the stars.

Part Three: A Nearby Star Cluster.

Make a lot of bright stars much closer to your planet than is the case in Earth's part of our galaxy.

One way to do that is to make your planet and its solar system happen to be passing though an open star cluster which has a number of hot young stars of high luminosity. Note that those hot young high luminosity stars will have different spectral types than any star expected to have habitable planets, and thus will have higher proportions of ultraviolet radiation than the star of the planet would. Possibly ultraviolet light is useful for magic.

Or possibly the solar system is passing near to such an open star cluster, and thus those super bright stars visible during the daytime may be seen from only one direction.

If the direction to the star cluster is near the plane that the planet orbits in, most of the stars in the cluster will only be visible during the night time during part of the year, but the super bright stars in the cluster will be visible day or night, but only during about half of any daily cycle of night and day. In the other half of the daily cycle someone's location will be pointed away from the cluster and the cluster will be below the horizon.

If the direction to the star cluster is close to the direction of one of the planet's poles, the stars in the cluster will always be above the horizon, day or night, in that hemisphere of the planet, circling around the pole. The brighter ones will be visible during the day and the night, and dimmer ones will be visible only during the night.

And on the other hemisphere of the planet, near the other pole, the stars in the cluster will never be visible, day or night, and star magic using the cluster stars will be impossible there. Star magic using other background stars will be possible in that hemisphere during the night when they are visible.

Part Four: A Multiple Star System.

Your planet could be in a double or multiple star system. In that case its own star that it obits will appear as a disc in the sky and seem to be a sun. One or more of the other stars in the system might possibly appear as discs also. But some or all of the other stars in the system may be far enough away to appear a dots of light, and yet many times brighter than any star in Earth's sky, so they would be visible during the day (when above the horizon and not hidden by clouds).

So you should study multiple star systems and perhaps come up with a planet orbiting only one star in a 5 or 6 star system, with the other stars far enough away to appear as dots of light, but bright enough to be visible during the day.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_system#:~:text=Multiple%2Dstar%20systems%20are%20called,or%20septenary%20with%20seven%20stars.

Part Five: A Fantasy World.

Of course your setting might be a fantasy world flat earth surrounded by a geocentric system, in which case the gods might have built their celestial sphere closer to the flat Earth and made the star lamps many times brighter, so that they could be seen even during the daylight on the flat Earth.

Use the sun during the day to power a low level filtration/polarisation spell to block out the local sun rays. Then power up with your multiple distant stars.

Why you need distant stars to power you spells, when you have a major source of solar power right next door, I don't know. You will have to address this somehow.

It could be that it's not so much the amount of light that powers your magic spells but rather the age or spectrum of light you use.

By filtering out the wavelength of light refracted by the sky. Either mechanically by sunglasses or organically by a protein in the lenses or viscous jelly of the eye. The objects in the world will still be mostly visible since they aren't the same color as the sky.

We can see the moon and Venus in the sky when the sun is up. So optical attention 4-9 magnitudes of just those wavelengths of blue refracted by our sun, or your star+atmosphere of your planet, would make many stars visible during the day.

The long and the short of it is: get rid of the atmosphere.

On the moon, stars are visible all the time, no matter where the sun is, because there is no atmospere to scatter the sunlight.

• Very effective, but the lack of any atmospheric pressure, the lack of oxygen, and the temperature (baking if the Sun is up and incredibly cold otherwise) will have a competition to see which can kill you first. Activating some handy spells to prevent these causes of death before teleporting there is advisable. 😃 Jan 11, 2022 at 14:44
• @Escaped Lunatic Keeping people alive was NOT listed as a criteria. Jan 11, 2022 at 20:10
• I stand corrected. +10 Jan 12, 2022 at 5:43

There're multiple problems, following the other answer you must have a world with less dense atmosphere, stars more near the planet, but I think the biggest problem is the weather condition, in a foggy or cloudy day or night you can't see the sky, in this way it's not possible to see your linked star and you can't use the power to enhance a spell. You can choose some ways to use this power:

1. Fantasy World - when you choose a star you can see it in every weather condition and in daylight.
2. Instead of having a direct line of sight you can choose to have some different type of enhance power, when it is on the other side the power is low, when the star is rising or descending the power gains a level of power 1 step higher, when is in the apogee the power has the maximum enhancement.

In other cases you must have a world without atmosphere for seeing all the stars around the planet during all the day.

As this answer states, it is possible in infrared - since the Earth like atmosphere scatters mostly blue light. So either 1) the eyes of your species evolved to see longer wavelengths, or 2) there is a spell that alters your pupil/retina (either permanently or temporarily).

(it is of course possible in visible light with a telescope, but you specified "naked eye")

## Replace the Sun with a Red dwarf

Since removing your atmosphere posses significant problems to complex organisms, you could go the other route and choose a star that emits less short-wavelength light. In general, an Earth like atmosphere absorbs more light in the red/orange spectrum and scatters more light in the blue/violet spectrum.

By switching over to a Red Dwarf instead of a Yellow Dwarf star, you increase the relative amount of energy that an Earth like atmosphere will absorb. This means that your planet is kept warm more easily for the amount of light hitting it. This maximizes how far away from the star you can be compared to how bright it is. Also, by reducing the amount of light in the part of the spectrum that scatters it, the sky will be much more transparent during the day.

The result will be dimmer more transparent day time sky despite still being made of all the same stuff. This will allow you to better see some of the brighter stars during the day.