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Alpha Pictoris - HD50241 - HIP32607

Alpha Pictoris is a blue subgiant star that can be located in the constellation of Pictor. The star can be seen with the naked eye, that is, you don't need a telescope/binoculars to see it.

Alpha Pictoris is the Bayer Classification for the star. HIP32607 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD50241. The Gliese ID of the star is Gliese GL248. The star was part of the original catalogue devised by German Astronomer Wilheim Gliese of stars located within 20 parsecs of Earth. Ref : Star Names.

Location of Alpha Pictoris

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 Alpha Pictoris, the location is 06h 48m 11.54 and -61d56`31.1 .

Proper Motion of Alpha Pictoris

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 242.97 ± 1.62 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and -66.07 ± 1.78 miliarcseconds/year east if we saw them in the horizon.

Physical Properties (Colour, Temperature, Radius) of Alpha Pictoris

Alpha Pictoris has a spectral type of A7IV. This means the star is a blue subgiant star. The star is 7399.00000000 Parsecs from the Galactic Centre or terms of Light Years is 24132.8258225600000000s. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 0.22 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 7,650 Kelvin.

Alpha Pictoris Radius has been calculated as being 3.63 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 2,523,810.90.km. However with the 2007 release of updated Hipparcos files, the radius is now calculated at being round 3.54. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and has been known to produce widely incorrect figures.

Alpha Pictoris Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Alpha Pictoris has an apparent magnitude of 3.24 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 0.83 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 0.88. 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 Alpha Pictoris

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 32.96 which gave the calculated distance to Alpha Pictoris as 98.96 light years away from Earth or 30.34 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 98.96 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 33.78 which put Alpha Pictoris at a distance of 96.56 light years or 29.60 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 7,399.00 Parsecs or 24,132.83 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.

Alpha Pictoris Facts

Alternative Names

Bayer DesignationAlpha Pictoris
Hipparcos Library I.D.32607
Gliese ID248
Henry Draper Designation50241

Visual Facts

Star Typesubgiant star
Absolute Magnitude0.83 / 0.88
Visual / Apparent Magnitude3.24
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Ref: Wiki
Right Ascension (R.A.)06h 48m 11.54
Declination (Dec.)-61d56`31.1
Galactic Latitude-24.10 degrees
Galactic Longitude271.92 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth32.96 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 98.96 Light Years
 30.34 Parsecs
2007 Revised Distance from Earth33.78 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 96.56 Light Years
 29.60 Parsecs
Galacto-Centric Distance24,132.83 Light Years / 7,399.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.242.97 ± 1.62 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-66.07 ± 1.78 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index0.22
Radial Velocity15.30 ± 1.30 km/s
Spectral TypeA7IV
Colour(A) blue

Estimated Facts

Calculated Effective Temperature7,650 Kelvin

Sources and Links

SIMBAD SourceLink

Related Stars

Location of Alpha Pictoris in Pictor


Alpha Pictoris (Alpha Pictoris) Location in Pictor

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


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