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61 Cygni B (Companion Star) Facts

61 Cygni B Facts

  • 61 Cygni B is a eruptive main sequence star that can be located in the constellation of Cygnus. The description is based on the spectral class.
  • 61 Cygni B is not part of the constellation outline but is within the borders of the constellation.
  • Based on the spectral type (K7V) of the star, the star's colour is orange to red .
  • The star can be seen with the naked eye, that is, you don't need a telescope/binoculars to see it.
  • Using the most recent figures given by the 2007 Hipparcos data, the star is 11.41 light years away from us. Distance

61 Cygni B's Alternative Names

The Id of the star in the Yale Bright Star Catalogue is HR8086. HIP104217 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD201092. The Gliese ID of the star is GL 820B. The star was part of the original catalogue devised by German Astronomer Wilheim Gliese of stars located within 20 parsecs of Earth. Star Names

61 Cygni B has alternative name(s) :- , NSV 13546.

Flamsteed designations are named after the creator, Sir John Flamsteed. Sir John named the stars in the constellation with a number and its latin name, this star's Flamsteed designation is 61 Cygni B. The Flamsteed name can be shortened to 61 Cyg B.

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+38 4344.

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

Location of 61 Cygni B

The location of the main sequence 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 61 Cygni B, the location is 21h 06m 52.19 and +38° 44` 03.9 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of 61 Cygni B

Proper Motion

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 3,144.68 ± 0.39 milliarcseconds/year towards the north and 4,106.90 ± 0.54 milliarcseconds/year east if we saw them in the horizon.

Radial Velocity

The Radial Velocity, that is the speed at which the star is moving away/towards the Sun is -64.07000 km/s with an error of about 0.08 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.

Physical Properties of 61 Cygni B

61 Cygni B Temperature and Colour

Based on the star's spectral type of K7V , 61 Cygni B's colour and type is orange to red main sequence star. The star's effective temperature is 4,145 Kelvin which is cooler than our own Sun's effective Temperature which is 5,777 Kelvin

61 Cygni B 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 0.08 that I have given is based on the value in the Simbad Hipparcos Extended Catalogue at the University of Strasbourg from 2012.

61 Cygni B Radius

61 Cygni B estimated radius has been calculated as being 0.36 times bigger than the Sun. The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 249,997.99.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 0.3592957670173565227166994264. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS rather than peer reviewed papers. It has been known to produce widely incorrect figures.

61 Cygni B Iron Abundance

61 Cygni B Iron Abundance is -0.29 with an error value of 9.99 Fe/H with the Sun has a value of 1 to put it into context. The value comes from the Hipparcos Extended Catalog.

61 Cygni B Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

61 Cygni B has an apparent magnitude of 6.05 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 8.33 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 8.33. 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 61 Cygni B

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 285.42000 which gave the calculated distance to 61 Cygni B as 11.43 light years away from Earth or 3.50 parsecs. If you want that in miles, it is about 67,192,688,015,488.66, based on 1 Ly = 5,878,625,373,183.61 miles.

In 2007, Hipparcos data was revised with a new parallax of 285.88000 which put 61 Cygni B at a distance of 11.41 light years or 3.50 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 721,921.79 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 7,400.00 Parsecs or 24,136.09 Light Years. The Galacto-Centric Distance is the distance from the star to the Centre of the Galaxy which is Sagittarius A*.

Travel Time to 61 Cygni B

The time it will take to travel to this star is dependent on how fast you are going. U.G. has done some calculations as to how long it will take going at differing speeds. A note about the calculations, when I'm talking about years, I'm talking non-leap years only (365 days).

The New Horizons space probe is the fastest probe that we've sent into space at the time of writing. Its primary mission was to visit Pluto which at the time of launch (2006), Pluto was still a planet.

DescriptionSpeed (m.p.h.)Time (years)
Walking41,912,933,934.22
Car12063,764,464.47
Airbus A38073610,396,380.08
Speed of Sound (Mach 1)767.2699,972,689.81
Concorde (Mach 2)1,534.544,986,338.41
New Horizons Probe33,000231,870.78
Speed of Light670,616,629.0011.41

Variable Type of 61 Cygni B

The star is a eruptive Irregular variable type which means that its size changes over time. The Variable Type is usually named after the first star of that type to be spotted. 61 Cygni B brightness ranges from a magnitude of 6.170 to a magnitude of 6.107 over its variable period. The smaller the magnitude, the brighter the star. Its variable/pulsating period lasts for 0.0 days (variability).

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 61 Cygni B Facts and Figures

Visual Facts


Primary / Proper / Traditional Name61 Cygni B
Alternative NamesHD 201092, HIP 104217, HR 8086, 61 Cyg B, BD+38 4344, Gliese 820B, NSV 13546
Spectral TypeK7V
Constellation's Main StarNo
Multiple Star SystemYes
Star Type Main Sequence Dwarf Star
ColourOrange to Red
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationCygnus
Absolute Magnitude 8.33 / 8.33
Visual / Apparent Magnitude6.05
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)21h 06m 52.19
Declination (Dec.)+38° 44` 03.9
Galactic Latitude-5.82393072 degrees
Galactic Longitude82.30470964 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth285.42000 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 11.43 Light Years
 3.50 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth285.88000 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 11.41 Light Years
 3.50 Parsecs
 721,921.79 Astronomical Units
Galacto-Centric Distance24,136.09 Light Years / 7,400.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.3144.68000 ± 0.39000 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.4106.90000 ± 0.54000 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index1.3
Radial Velocity-64.07000 ± 0.08 km/s
Iron Abundance-0.2900 ± 9.99 Fe/H
Eccentricity0.45300
Semi-Major Axis5509.0000000
Stellar Luminosity (Lsun)0.0800000
Associated / Clustered Stars61 Cygni
61 Cygni A

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts


Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Variable Star Details


Variable Star ClassEruptive
Variable Star TypeIrregular
Mean Variability Period in Days0.038
Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)6.107 - 6.170

Estimated Calculated Facts


Radius (x the Sun)0.36
Effective Temperature4,322 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
201092+38 4344.0B6.300004133.000003113.00000K5Orange1830
+38 4345.0C-4.00000-1.000001914
+38 4342.0D8.60000-14.00000-11.000001918
+38 4349.0E8.100007.00000-15.000001918
P10.500001921

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