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Albireo, Beta Cygni A, 6 Cygni, HD183912, HIP95947, HR7417

Albireo (Beta Cygni A) is a orange to red luminous giant star that can be located in the constellation of Cygnus. Albireo is the brightest star in Cygnus based on the Hipparcos 2007 apparent magnitude. The star can be seen with the naked eye, that is, you don't need a telescope/binoculars to see it.

Beta Cygni A is the Bayer Classification for the star. The Id of the star in the Yale Bright Star Catalogue is HR7417. HIP95947 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD183912.

Location of Albireo

The location of the star in the galaxy 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 Albireo, the location is 19h 30m 43.29 and +27d 57` 34.9 .

Proper Motion of Albireo

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 -6.15 ± 0.28 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and -7.17 ± 0.33 miliarcseconds/year east if we saw them in the horizon.

Physical Properties (Colour, Temperature, Radius) of Albireo

Albireo has a spectral type of K3II+.... This means the star is a orange to red luminous giant star. The star is 7339.00000000 Parsecs from the Galactic Centre or terms of Light Years is 23937.1278161600000000s. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 1.08 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 4,803 Kelvin.

Albireo Radius has been calculated as being 39.08 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 27,188,505.47.km. However with the 2007 release of updated Hipparcos files, the radius is now calculated at being round 44.05. 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 -0.08 with an error value of 9.99 Fe/H with the Sun has a value of 1 to put it into context.

The star has a companion star which is in orbit close by, it has at least the following companions in close orbit, .

Albireo Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Albireo has an apparent magnitude of 3.05 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 -2.31 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of -2.57. 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 Albireo

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 8.46 which gave the calculated distance to Albireo as 385.54 light years away from Earth or 118.20 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 385.54 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 7.51 which put Albireo at a distance of 434.31 light years or 133.16 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 7,339.00 Parsecs or 23,937.13 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.

Albireo Facts

Alternative Names

Traditional/Proper NameAlbireo
Flamsteed Name6 Cygni
Flamsteed Short Name6 Cyg
Bayer DesignationBeta Cygni A
Hipparcos Library I.D.95947
Yale Bright Star Catalogue (HR) Id7417
Bonner DurchmusterungBD+27 3410
Henry Draper Designation183912

Visual Facts

Star Typeluminous giant star
ConstellationCygnus
Absolute Magnitude-2.31 / -2.57
Visual / Apparent Magnitude3.05
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)19h 30m 43.29
Declination (Dec.)+27d 57` 34.9
Galactic Latitude4.57 degrees
Galactic Longitude62.11 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth8.46 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 385.54 Light Years
 118.20 Parsecs
2007 Revised Distance from Earth7.51 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 434.31 Light Years
 133.16 Parsecs
Galacto-Centric Distance23,937.13 Light Years / 7,339.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.-6.15 ± 0.28 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-7.17 ± 0.33 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index1.08
Radial Velocity-24.07 ± 0.12 km/s
Iron Abundance-0.08 ± 9.99 Fe/H
Spectral TypeK3II+...
Colour(K) Orange to Red

Estimated Facts

Calculated Effective Temperature4,803 Kelvin

Sources and Links

SIMBAD SourceLink

Related Stars

Location of Albireo in Cygnus


Albireo (Beta Cygni A) Location in Cygnus

The map was generated using Night Vision, an awesome free application by Brian Simpson.


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