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Alpha Sextantis - HD87887 - HIP49641

Alpha Sextantis is a blue giant star that can be located in the constellation of Sextans. Alpha Sextantis is the 1st brightest star in Sextans 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 Sextantis is the Bayer Classification for the star. HIP49641 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD87887.

Alpha Sextantis has alternative name(s), 15 Sextantis , 15 Sex.

Location of Alpha Sextantis

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 Sextantis, the location is 10h 07m 56.30 and -00d22`17.9 .

Proper Motion of Alpha Sextantis

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 -4.25 ± 0.75 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and -25.83 ± 0.98 miliarcseconds/year east if we saw them in the horizon.

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

Alpha Sextantis has a spectral type of A0III. This means the star is a blue giant star. The star is 7431.00000000 Parsecs from the Galactic Centre or terms of Light Years is 24237.1980926400000000s. The star has a B-V Colour Index of -0.03 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 10,010 Kelvin.

Alpha Sextantis Radius has been calculated as being 3.48 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 2,423,941.47.km. However with the 2007 release of updated Hipparcos files, the radius is now calculated at being round 3.42. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and has been known to produce widely incorrect figures.

Alpha Sextantis Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Alpha Sextantis has an apparent magnitude of 4.48 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 -0.25 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of -0.21. 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 Sextantis

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 11.35 which gave the calculated distance to Alpha Sextantis as 287.37 light years away from Earth or 88.11 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 287.37 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 11.51 which put Alpha Sextantis at a distance of 283.37 light years or 86.88 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 7,431.00 Parsecs or 24,237.20 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 Sextantis Facts

Alternative Names

Short Name15 Sex
Bayer DesignationAlpha Sextantis
Alternative Name(s)15 Sextantis
Hipparcos Library I.D.49641
Bonner DurchmusterungBDD+00 2615
Henry Draper Designation87887

Visual Facts

Star Typegiant star
Absolute Magnitude-0.25 / -0.21
Visual / Apparent Magnitude4.48
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)10h 07m 56.30
Declination (Dec.)-00d22`17.9
Galactic Latitude42.07 degrees
Galactic Longitude241.11 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth11.35 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 287.37 Light Years
 88.11 Parsecs
2007 Revised Distance from Earth11.51 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 283.37 Light Years
 86.88 Parsecs
Galacto-Centric Distance24,237.20 Light Years / 7,431.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.-4.25 ± 0.75 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-25.83 ± 0.98 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index-0.03
Radial Velocity10.00 ± 0.40 km/s
Spectral TypeA0III
Colour(A) blue

Estimated Facts

Calculated Effective Temperature10,010 Kelvin

Sources and Links

SIMBAD SourceLink

Related Stars

Location of Alpha Sextantis in Sextans


Alpha Sextantis (Alpha Sextantis) Location in Sextans

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


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