HIP16366 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD21909.
AL Fornacis has alternative name(s) :- , AL For.
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 Fornacis, the location is 03h 30m 50.55 and -32° 30` 19.6 .
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 5.83 ± 0.86 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and 4.77 ± 1.21 miliarcseconds/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 Fornacis has a spectral type of K5/M0. This means the star is a orange to red variable star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 1.73 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 3,339 Kelvin.
Radius has been calculated as being 12.81 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 8,915,350.06.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 12.29. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and has been known to produce widely incorrect figures.
AL Fornacis has an apparent magnitude of 8.93 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 1.69 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 1.78. 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 3.57 which gave the calculated distance to AL Fornacis as 913.62 light years away from Earth or 280.11 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 913.62 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 3.72 which put AL Fornacis at a distance of 876.78 light years or 268.82 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 55,447,718.85 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. AL Fornacis brightness ranges from a magnitude of 9.091 to a magnitude of 8.971 over its variable period. The smaller the magnitude, the brighter the star. Its variable/pulsating period lasts for 0.1 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 Fornacis|
|Alternative Names||HD 21909, HIP 16366, AL For|
|Constellation's Main Star||No|
|Multiple Star System||No / Unknown|
|Star Type||Variable Star|
|Colour||Orange to Red|
|Absolute Magnitude||1.69 / 1.78|
|Visual / Apparent Magnitude||8.93|
|Naked Eye Visible||Requires a 7x50 Binoculars - Magnitudes|
|Right Ascension (R.A.)||03h 30m 50.55|
|Declination (Dec.)||-32° 30` 19.6|
|Galactic Latitude||-55.21 degrees|
|Galactic Longitude||231.64 degrees|
|1997 Distance from Earth||3.57 Parallax (milliarcseconds)|
|913.62 Light Years|
|2007 Distance from Earth||3.72 Parallax (milliarcseconds)|
|876.78 Light Years|
|55,447,718.85 Astronomical Units|
|Proper Motion Dec.||5.83 ± 0.86 milliarcseconds/year|
|Proper Motion RA.||4.77 ± 1.21 milliarcseconds/year|
|Mean Variability Period in Days||0.084|
|Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)||8.971 - 9.091|
|Radius (x the Sun)||12.29|
|Effective Temperature||3,339 Kelvin|
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