Universe Guide

61 Virginis

61 Virginis Facts

61 Virginis's Alternative Names

The Id of the star in the Yale Bright Star Catalogue is HR5019. HIP64924 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD115617. The Gliese ID of the star is GL 506. 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 61 Virginis with it shortened to 61 Vir.

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 131 G. Virginis. 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-17 3813.

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

Location of 61 Virginis

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 Virginis, the location is 13h 18m 24.97 and -18° 18` 31.0 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of 61 Virginis

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 -1,063.69 ± 0.13 milliarcseconds/year towards the north and -1,070.36 ± 0.22 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 -8.13 km/s with an error of about 0.09 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.

61 Virginis 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 0.89 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 61 Virginis

61 Virginis Colour and Temperature

61 Virginis has a spectral type of G5V. This means the star is a yellow main sequence star.

The star's effective temperature is 5,571 Kelvin which is cooler than our own Sun's effective Temperature which is 5,777 Kelvin

61 Virginis Radius

Radius has been calculated as being 0.96 times bigger than the Sun. The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 670,995.70.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 0.97. 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 0.95 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 -0.010000, 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 8.96 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.

61 Virginis Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

61 Virginis has an apparent magnitude of 4.74 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 5.09 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 5.08. 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 Virginis

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 117.30 which gave the calculated distance to 61 Virginis as 27.81 light years away from Earth or 8.53 parsecs. If you want that in miles, it is 164,013,647,911,822.44.

In 2007, Hipparcos data was revised with a new parallax of 116.89 which put 61 Virginis at a distance of 27.90 light years or 8.56 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 1,765,614.44 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 7,396.00 Parsecs or 24,123.04 Light Years. The Galacto-Centric Distance is the distance from the star to the Centre of the Galaxy which is Sagittarius A*.

Time to Travel to 61 Virginis

A note about the calculations, when I'm talking about years, I'm talking non-leap years only (365 days).

If you were to drive there at about 120 m.p.h. in a car with an infinity engine so you didn't have to pull over for petrol, it would take you 1,362,371,430,235.30 hours or 155,521,852.77 years.

At the time of writing, the fastest probe so far created is the New Horizon probe which is travelling at a speed of 33,000 m.p.h. If the probe was travelling to 61 Virginis then it would take 4,954,077,928.13 hours / 565,534.01 years to get there. Speed Ref: N.A.S.A.

It would to take a spaceship journey travelling at the speed of light, 27.81 years to get there. We don't have the technology or spaceship that can carry people over that distance yet.

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 Virginis Facts and Figures

Visual Facts

Primary / Proper / Traditional Name61 Virginis
Alternative NamesHD 115617, HIP 64924, HR 5019, 131 G. Virginis, 61 Vir, BD-17 3813, Gliese 506
Spectral TypeG5V
Constellation's Main StarNo
Multiple Star SystemYes
Star Type Main Sequence Dwarf Star
GalaxyMilky Way
Age8.96 Billion Years Old
Absolute Magnitude 5.09 / 5.08
Visual / Apparent Magnitude4.74
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)13h 18m 24.97
Declination (Dec.)-18° 18` 31.0
Galactic Latitude44.09 degrees
Galactic Longitude311.86 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth117.30 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 27.81 Light Years
 8.53 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth116.89 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 27.90 Light Years
 8.56 Parsecs
 1,765,614.44 Astronomical Units
Galacto-Centric Distance24,123.04 Light Years / 7,396.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.-1063.69 ± 0.13 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-1070.36 ± 0.22 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index0.70
Radial Velocity-8.13 ± 0.09 km/s
Iron Abundance0.01 ± 0.01 Fe/H
Semi-Major Axis5591.00
Stellar Luminosity (Lsun)0.89

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts

Exoplanet Count3

Estimated Calculated Facts

Radius (x the Sun)0.97
Effective Temperature5,563 Kelvin
Mass Compared to the Sun0.95

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
115617-17 3813.0A4.80000-1077.00000-1072.00000G5Yellow
-17 3815.0B10.300001907

List of Extrasolar Planets orbiting 61 Virginis

NameStatusMass (Jupiters)Orbital Period (Days)EccentricityDiscoveredSemi-Major AxisPeriastron
61 Vir bConfirmed0.00164.2150.1220090.050201105.000
61 Vir cConfirmed0.003538.0210.1420090.2175341.000
61 Vir dConfirmed0.008123.0100.3520090.476314.000

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