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Fafnir (42 Draconis) Star Facts

Fafnir Facts

Fafnir's Alternative Names

The Id of the star in the Yale Bright Star Catalogue is HR6945. HIP90344 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD170693.

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 42 Draconis with it shortened to 42 Dra.

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+65 1271.

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

Location of Fafnir

The location of the giant 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 object is compared to the celestial equator and is expressed in degrees. For Fafnir, the location is 18h 25m 58.99 and +65° 33` 48.8 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of Fafnir

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 -27.24 ± 0.21 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and 105.83 ± 0.20 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 32.17 km/s with an error of about 0.20 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.

Fafnir 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 159.70 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, Age, Mass) of Fafnir

Fafnir has a spectral type of K2III. This means the star is a orange to red giant star. The star is 7,409.00 Parsecs from the Galactic Centre or in terms of Light Years is 24,165.44 s. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 1.17 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 4,541 Kelvin.

Fafnir Radius has been calculated as being 15.94 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 11,093,944.90.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 15.80. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and has been known to produce widely incorrect figures. The star's solar mass is 0.98 times that of the Sun's. The Sun's Mass is 1,989,100,000,000,000,000,000 billion kg. which to calculate using this website is too large. To give idea of size, the Sun is 99.86% the mass of the solar system.

The star's metallicity is -0.460000, this value is the fractional amount of the star that is not Hydrogen (X) or Helium (Y). An older star would have a high metallicity whereas a new star would have a lower one.

The star is believed to be about 9.49 Billion years old. To put in context, the Sun is believed to be about five billion years old and the Universe is about 13.8 billion years old.

Fafnir Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Fafnir has an apparent magnitude of 4.82 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 -0.12 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of -0.10. 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 Fafnir

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 10.28 which gave the calculated distance to Fafnir as 317.28 light years away from Earth or 97.28 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 317.28 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 10.36 which put Fafnir at a distance of 314.83 light years or 96.53 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.

Using the 2007 distance, the star is roughly 19,910,603.01 Astronomical Units from the Earth/Sun give or take a few. An Astronomical Unit is the distance between Earth and the Sun. The number of A.U. is the number of times that the star is from the Earth compared to the Sun.

The star's Galacto-Centric Distance is 7,409.00 Parsecs or 24,165.44 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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Additional Fafnir Facts and Figures

Visual Facts


Primary / Proper / Traditional NameFafnir
Alternative NamesHD 170693, HIP 90344, HR 6945, 42 Draconis, 42 Dra, BD+65 1271
Spectral TypeK2III
Constellation's Main StarNo
Multiple Star SystemNo / Unknown
Star TypeGiant Star
ColourOrange to Red
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationDraco
Age9.49 Billion Years Old
Absolute Magnitude -0.12 / -0.10
Visual / Apparent Magnitude4.82
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)18h 25m 58.99
Declination (Dec.) +65° 33` 48.8
Galactic Latitude27.13 degrees
Galactic Longitude95.42 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth10.28 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 317.28 Light Years
 97.28 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth10.36 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 314.83 Light Years
 96.53 Parsecs
 19,910,603.01 Astronomical Units
Galacto-Centric Distance24,165.44 Light Years / 7,409.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.-27.24 ± 0.21 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.105.83 ± 0.20 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index1.17
Radial Velocity32.17 ± 0.20 km/s
Iron Abundance-0.49 ± 0.02 Fe/H
Eccentricity0.75
Semi-Major Axis19491.00
Stellar Luminosity (Lsun)159.70

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts


Exoplanet Count1

Estimated Calculated Facts


Radius (x the Sun)15.80
Effective Temperature4,541 Kelvin
Mass Compared to the Sun0.98

Sources and Links


SIMBAD SourceLink

List of Extrasolar Planets orbiting Fafnir


NameStatusMass (Jupiters)Orbital Period (Days)EccentricityDiscoveredSemi-Major AxisPeriastron
42 Dra bConfirmed0.85479.1000.3820091.19218.700

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