HIP90474 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue.
AL Draconis has alternative name(s) :- AL Dra, AL Dra.
More details on objects' alternative names can be found at Star Names .
The location of the variable 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 AL Draconis, the location is 18h 27m 40.55 and +49° 18` 33.5 .
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 -14.86 ± 2.08 milliarcseconds/year towards the north and 0.99 ± 2.64 milliarcseconds/year east if we saw them in the horizon. . 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.
AL Draconis has a spectral type of M7ea. This means the star is a red variable star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 1.5 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 4,014 Kelvin.
AL Draconis has an apparent magnitude of 12.38 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 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 5.13. 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.
Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as -0.61 which gave the calculated distance to AL Draconis as -5346.94 light years away from Earth or -1639.34 parsecs. If you want that in miles, it is 5,401,104,634,119,896.17.
In 2007, Hipparcos data was revised with a new parallax of 3.55 which put AL Draconis at a distance of 918.77 light years or 281.69 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 58,102,328.41 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.
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 -261,938,809,607,419.32 hours or -29,901,690,594.45 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 AL Draconis then it would take -952,504,762,208.80 hours / -108,733,420.34 years to get there. Speed Ref: N.A.S.A.
It would to take a spaceship journey travelling at the speed of light, -5346.94 years to get there. We don't have the technology or spaceship that can carry people over that distance yet.
The star is a pulsating Omicron Ceti 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. AL Draconis brightness ranges from a magnitude of 13.029 to a magnitude of 9.828 over its variable period. The smaller the magnitude, the brighter the star. Its variable/pulsating period lasts for 335.8 days (variability).
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.
|Primary / Proper / Traditional Name||AL Draconis|
|Alternative Names||AL Dra, HIP 90474, AL Dra|
|Constellation's Main Star||No|
|Multiple Star System||No / Unknown|
|Star Type||Variable Star|
|Absolute Magnitude||/ 5.13|
|Visual / Apparent Magnitude||12.38|
|Naked Eye Visible||Requires a 4.5 - 6 Inch Telescope - Magnitudes|
|Right Ascension (R.A.)||18h 27m 40.55|
|Declination (Dec.)||+49° 18` 33.5|
|Galactic Latitude||23.94 degrees|
|Galactic Longitude||77.74 degrees|
|1997 Distance from Earth||-0.61 Parallax (milliarcseconds)|
|-5346.94 Light Years|
|2007 Distance from Earth||3.55 Parallax (milliarcseconds)|
|918.77 Light Years|
|58,102,328.41 Astronomical Units|
|Proper Motion Dec.||-14.86 ± 2.08 milliarcseconds/year|
|Proper Motion RA.||0.99 ± 2.64 milliarcseconds/year|
|Variable Star Class||Pulsating|
|Variable Star Type||Omicron Ceti|
|Mean Variability Period in Days||335.800|
|Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)||9.828 - 13.029|
|Effective Temperature||4,014 Kelvin|
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