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61 Herculis

61 Herculis Facts

  • 61 Herculis is a eruptive giant star that can be located in the constellation of Hercules. The description is based on the spectral class.
  • 61 Herculis is not part of the constellation outline but is within the borders of the constellation.
  • Based on the spectral type (M4III) of the star, the star's colour is 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 749.80 light years away from us. Distance

61 Herculis's Alternative Names

The Id of the star in the Yale Bright Star Catalogue is HR6346. HIP83462 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD154356.

61 Herculis has alternative name(s) :- , V931 Her.

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 Herculis. The Flamsteed name can be shortened to 61 Her.

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+35 2911.

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

Location of 61 Herculis

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 61 Herculis, the location is 17h 03m 30.19 and +35° 24` 51.0 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of 61 Herculis

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 -43.27 ± 0.29 milliarcseconds/year towards the north and 28.68 ± 0.33 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 -16.59 km/s with an error of about 0.33 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 Herculis

61 Herculis Temperature and Colour

Based on the star's spectral type of M4III , 61 Herculis's colour and type is red giant star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 1.46 which means the star's temperature is about 4,059 Kelvin. The temperature was calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu.

61 Herculis 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 390.70 that I have given is based on the value in the Simbad Hipparcos Extended Catalogue at the University of Strasbourg from 2012.

61 Herculis Radius

61 Herculis estimated radius has been calculated as being 23.23 times bigger than the Sun. The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 16,164,197.40.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 25.12. 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 Herculis Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

61 Herculis has an apparent magnitude of 6.19 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 -0.45 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of -0.62. 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 Herculis

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 4.70 which gave the calculated distance to 61 Herculis as 693.96 light years away from Earth or 212.77 parsecs. If you want that in miles, it is about 4,079,530,863,974,498.00, based on 1 Ly = 5,878,625,373,183.61 miles.

In 2007, Hipparcos data was revised with a new parallax of 4.35 which put 61 Herculis at a distance of 749.80 light years or 229.89 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 47,417,885.90 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 7,307.00 Parsecs or 23,832.76 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 Herculis

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)
Walking4125,707,087,106.05
Car1204,190,236,236.87
Airbus A380736683,190,690.79
Speed of Sound (Mach 1)767.269655,348,187.43
Concorde (Mach 2)1,534.54327,673,666.65
New Horizons Probe33,00015,237,222.68
Speed of Light670,616,629.00749.80

Variable Type of 61 Herculis

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 Herculis brightness ranges from a magnitude of 6.262 to a magnitude of 6.074 over its variable period. The smaller the magnitude, the brighter the star. Its variable/pulsating period lasts for 0.2 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 Herculis Facts and Figures

Visual Facts


Primary / Proper / Traditional Name61 Herculis
Alternative NamesHD 154356, HIP 83462, HR 6346, 61 Her, BD+35 2911, V931 Her
Spectral TypeM4III
Constellation's Main StarNo
Multiple Star SystemNo / Unknown
Star TypeGiant Star
ColourRed
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationHercules
Absolute Magnitude -0.45 / -0.62
Visual / Apparent Magnitude6.19
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)17h 03m 30.19
Declination (Dec.)+35° 24` 51.0
Galactic Latitude36.39 degrees
Galactic Longitude58.48 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth4.70 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 693.96 Light Years
 212.77 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth4.35 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 749.80 Light Years
 229.89 Parsecs
 47,417,885.90 Astronomical Units
Galacto-Centric Distance23,832.76 Light Years / 7,307.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.-43.27 ± 0.29 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.28.68 ± 0.33 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index1.46
Radial Velocity-16.59 ± 0.33 km/s
Eccentricity0.24
Semi-Major Axis7808.00
Stellar Luminosity (Lsun)390.70

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts


Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Variable Star Details


Variable Star ClassEruptive
Variable Star TypeIrregular
Mean Variability Period in Days0.163
Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)6.074 - 6.262

Estimated Calculated Facts


Radius (x the Sun)25.12
Effective Temperature4,059 Kelvin

Sources and Links


SIMBAD SourceLink

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