Alpha Mensae is a white to yellow main sequence dwarf star that can be located in the constellation of Mensa. The description is based on the spectral class. Alpha Mensae is the 1st brightest star in Mensa 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.
Alpha Mensae (Alf Men) is the Bayer Classification for the star. The Id of the star in the Yale Bright Star Catalogue is HR2261. HIP29271 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD43834. The Gliese ID of the star is GL 231. The star was part of the original catalogue devised by German Astronomer Wilheim Gliese of stars located within 20 parsecs of Earth. Star Names
More details on star alternative names can be found at Star Names .
The location of the 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 star is compared to the celestial equator and is expressed in degrees. For Alpha Mensae, the location is 06h 10m 14.20 and -74° 45` 09.1 .
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 -212.34 ± 0.14 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and 121.80 ± 0.14 miliarcseconds/year east if we saw them in the horizon. The Radial Velocity, that is the speed at which the star is moving away/towards us is 37.10000 km/s with an error of about 1.04 km/s .
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 0.93 that I have given is based on the value in the Simbad Hipparcos Extended Catalogue at the University of Strasbourg from 2012.
Alpha Mensae has a spectral type of G5V. This means the star is a white to yellow main sequence dwarf star. The star is 7,398.00 Parsecs from the Galactic Centre or terms of Light Years is 24,129.56 s. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 0.71 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 5,533 Kelvin.
Alpha Mensae Radius has been calculated as being 0.99 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 690,902.73.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 1.00. 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 0.10 with an error value of 0.01 Fe/H with the Sun has a value of 1 to put it into context.
Alpha Mensae has an apparent magnitude of 5.08 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 5.05 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 5.04. 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 98.54 which gave the calculated distance to Alpha Mensae as 33.10 light years away from Earth or 10.15 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 33.10 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 98.06 which put Alpha Mensae at a distance of 33.26 light years or 10.20 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 7,398.00 Parsecs or 24,129.56 Light Years. The Galacto-Centric Distance is the distance from the star to the Centre of the Galaxy which is Sagittarius A*.
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||Alpha Mensae|
|Alternative Names||Alf Men, HD 43834, HIP 29271, HR 2261, Gliese 231|
|Multiple Star System||Yes|
|Star Type||main sequence Dwarf Star|
|Colour||white to yellow|
|Absolute Magnitude||5.05 / 5.04|
|Visual / Apparent Magnitude||5.08|
|Naked Eye Visible||Yes - Magnitudes|
|Right Ascension (R.A.)||06h 10m 14.20|
|Declination (Dec.)||-74° 45` 09.1|
|Galactic Latitude||-28.80 degrees|
|Galactic Longitude||285.76 degrees|
|1997 Distance from Earth||98.54 Parallax (milliarcseconds)|
|33.10 Light Years|
|2007 Distance from Earth||98.06 Parallax (milliarcseconds)|
|33.26 Light Years|
|Galacto-Centric Distance||24,129.56 Light Years / 7,398.00 Parsecs|
|Proper Motion Dec.||-212.34 ± 0.14 milliarcseconds/year|
|Proper Motion RA.||121.80 ± 0.14 milliarcseconds/year|
|Radial Velocity||37.10 ± 1.04 km/s|
|Iron Abundance||0.10 ± 0.01 Fe/H|
|Stellar Luminosity (Lsun)||0.93|
|Associated / Clustered Stars||Alpha Mensae B|
|Calculated Effective Temperature||5,533 Kelvin|