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12 Ophiuchi, HD149661, HIP81300, HR6171

12 Ophiuchi is a orange to red main sequence dwarf star that can be located in the constellation of Ophiuchus. The description is based on the spectral class. 12 Ophiuchi is not part of the constellation but is within the borders of the constellation.

The star can be seen with the naked eye, that is, you don't need a telescope/binoculars to see it.

12 Ophiuchi's Alternative Names

The Id of the star in the Yale Bright Star Catalogue is HR6171. HIP81300 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD149661. The Gliese ID of the star is GL 631. The star was part of the original catalogue devised by German Astronomer Wilheim Gliese of stars located within 20 parsecs of Earth. Star Names

Flamsteed designations are named after the creator, Sir John Flamsteed. Sir John numbered the stars in the constellation with a number and the latin name, this star's Flamsteed designation is 12 Ophiuchi with it shortened to 12 Oph.

The Gould star designation is one that was designed by American astronomer, Benjamin Apthorp Gould. Gould stars are predominantly in the Southern and Equatorial constellations but do appear in northern constellations such as Bootes and Orion. The star has the designation 27 G. Ophiuchi. There are no stars with a Gould designation in Ursa Major for example.

BD number is the number that the star was filed under in the Durchmusterung or Bonner Durchmusterung, a star catalogue that was put together by the Bonn Observatory between 1859 to 1903. The star's BD Number is BD-01 3220.

More details on star alternative names can be found at Star Names .

Location of 12 Ophiuchi

The location of the star in the night sky is determined by the Right Ascension (R.A.) and Declination (Dec.), these are equivalent to the Longitude and Latitude on the Earth. The Right Ascension is how far expressed in time (hh:mm:ss) the star is along the celestial equator. If the R.A. is positive then its eastwards. The Declination is how far north or south the star is compared to the celestial equator and is expressed in degrees. For 12 Ophiuchi, the location is 16h 36m 21.18 and -02° 19` 25.8 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of 12 Ophiuchi

All stars like planets orbit round a central spot, in the case of planets, its the central star such as the Sun. In the case of a star, its the galactic centre. The constellations that we see today will be different than they were 50,000 years ago or 50,000 years from now. Proper Motion details the movements of these stars and are measured in milliarcseconds. The star is moving -309.63 ± 0.20 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and 456.04 ± 0.40 miliarcseconds/year east if we saw them in the horizon.

The Radial Velocity, that is the speed at which the star is moving away/towards the Sun is -13.00 km/s with an error of about 0.07 km/s . When the value is negative then the star and the Sun are getting closer to one another, likewise, a positive number means that two stars are moving away. Its nothing to fear as the stars are so far apart, they won't collide in our life-time, if ever.

12 Ophiuchi Luminosity

Luminosity is the amount of energy that a star pumps out and its relative to the amount that our star, the Sun gives out. The figure of 0.49 that I have given is based on the value in the Simbad Hipparcos Extended Catalogue at the University of Strasbourg from 2012.

Physical Properties (Colour, Temperature) of 12 Ophiuchi

12 Ophiuchi has a spectral type of K2V. This means the star is a orange to red main sequence dwarf star. The star is 7,392.00 Parsecs from the Galactic Centre or terms of Light Years is 24,109.99 s. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 0.82 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 5,236 Kelvin.

12 Ophiuchi Radius has been calculated as being 0.78 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 541,167.14.km. If you need the diameter of the star, you just need to multiple the radius by 2. However with the 2007 release of updated Hipparcos files, the radius is now calculated at being round 0.78. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and has been known to produce widely incorrect figures. The star's Iron Abundance is 0.04 with an error value of 9.99 Fe/H with the Sun has a value of 1 to put it into context.

12 Ophiuchi Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

12 Ophiuchi has an apparent magnitude of 5.77 which is how bright we see the star from Earth. Apparent Magnitude is also known as Visual Magnitude. If you used the 1997 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 5.82 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 5.82. Magnitude, whether it be apparent/visual or absolute magnitude is measured by a number, the smaller the number, the brighter the Star is. Our own Sun is the brightest star and therefore has the lowest of all magnitudes, -26.74. A faint star will have a high number.

Distance to 12 Ophiuchi

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 102.27 which gave the calculated distance to 12 Ophiuchi as 31.89 light years away from Earth or 9.78 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 31.89 years to get there. We don't have the technology or spaceship that can carry people over that distance yet.

In 2007, Hipparcos data was revised with a new parallax of 102.55 which put 12 Ophiuchi at a distance of 31.81 light years or 9.75 parsecs. It should not be taken as though the star is moving closer or further away from us. It is purely that the distance was recalculated.

The star's Galacto-Centric Distance is 7,392.00 Parsecs or 24,109.99 Light Years. The Galacto-Centric Distance is the distance from the star to the Centre of the Galaxy which is Sagittarius A*.

Source of Information

The source of the information if it has a Hip I.D. is from Simbad, the Hipparcos data library based at the University at Strasbourg, France. Hipparcos was a E.S.A. satellite operation launched in 1989 for four years. The items in red are values that I've calculated so they could well be wrong. Information regarding Metallicity and/or Mass is from the E.U. Exoplanets. The information was obtained as of 12th Feb 2017.

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12 Ophiuchi Facts

Visual Facts


Primary / Proper / Traditional Name12 Ophiuchi
Alternative NamesHD 149661, HIP 81300, HR 6171, 27 G. Ophiuchi, 12 Oph, BD-01 3220, Gliese 631
Spectral TypeK2V
Constellation's Main StarNo
Multiple Star SystemYes
Star Type main sequence Dwarf Star
Colour orange to red
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationOphiuchus
Absolute Magnitude 5.82 / 5.82
Visual / Apparent Magnitude5.77
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)16h 36m 21.18
Declination (Dec.)-02° 19` 25.8
Galactic Latitude28.41 degrees
Galactic Longitude13.73 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth102.27 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 31.89 Light Years
 9.78 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth102.55 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 31.81 Light Years
 9.75 Parsecs
Galacto-Centric Distance24,109.99 Light Years / 7,392.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.-309.63 ± 0.20 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.456.04 ± 0.40 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index0.82
Radial Velocity-13.00 ± 0.07 km/s
Iron Abundance0.04 ± 9.99 Fe/H
Eccentricity0.17
Semi-Major Axis8610.00
Stellar Luminosity (Lsun)0.49

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts


Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Estimated Facts


Calculated Effective Temperature5,236 Kelvin

Sources and Links


SIMBAD SourceLink

Multi-Star System

The star has been identified as being a multi-star system, one in which there is at least one star in close orbit to another star or two or more stars orbiting a central point. The stars may be of equal mass, unequal mass where one star is stronger than the other or be in groups orbiting a central point which doesn't necessarily have to be a star. More information can be found on my dedicated multiple star systems page. The source of the info is Simbad. The file is dated 2000 so any differences between this and any other source will be down to the actual source from where the information came from.


Proper Motion mas/yr
H.D. IdB.D. IdStar CodeMagnitudeR.A.Dec.SpectrumColourYear
149661-01 3220.0A5.90000454.00000-315.00000K0Orange
B13.600001910

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