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Alphecca, Alpha Coronae Borealis, 5 Coronae Borealis, HD139006, HIP76267, HR5793

Alphecca Location in Corona Borealis

Primary Facts on Alphecca

  • Alphecca's star type is eclipsing binary sys main sequence dwarf star that can be located in the constellation of Corona Borealis. The description is based on the spectral class.
  • Alphecca is a main star of the constellation outline.
  • Based on the spectral type (A0V) of the star, the star's colour is blue .
  • Alpha Coronae Borealis is the Bayer name for the star. It was assigned this name by Johann Bayer in 1603. The closer to the start of the Greek Alphabet the name, the brighter the star is. Alpha stars tend to be the brightest in the constellation. A notable exception is Pollux (Beta Geminorum) which is the brighest star in the Gemini constellation.
  • Alphecca is the 65th brightest star in the night sky and is the brightest star in Corona Borealis 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.
  • Using the most recent figures given by the 2007 Hipparcos data, the star is 75.05 light years away from us.

Alphecca's Alternative Names

Alpha Coronae Borealis (Alf Crb) is the Bayer Classification for the star. The Id of the star in the Yale Bright Star Catalogue is HR5793. HIP76267 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD139006.

Alphecca has alternative name(s) :- , alf CrB. In Arabic, it is known as Al-Fakkah.

Flamsteed designations are named after the creator, Sir John Flamsteed. Sir John numbered the stars in the constellation with a number and the latin name, this star's Flamsteed designation is 5 Coronae Borealis with it shortened to 5 CrB.

BD number is the number that the star was filed under in the Durchmusterung or Bonner Durchmusterung, a star catalogue that was put together by the Bonn Observatory between 1859 to 1903. The star's BD Number is BD+27 2512.

More details on star alternative names can be found at Star Names .

Location of Alphecca

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 Alphecca, the location is 15h 34m 41.19 and +26° 42` 53.7 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of Alphecca

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 -89.58 ± 0.17 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and 120.27 ± 0.28 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 the Sun is 1.40 km/s with an error of about 1.78 km/s . 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.

Alphecca Luminosity

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 63.30 that I have given is based on the value in the Simbad Hipparcos Extended Catalogue at the University of Strasbourg from 2012.

Physical Properties (Colour, Temperature) of Alphecca

Alphecca has a spectral type of A0V. This means the star is a blue main sequence dwarf star. The star is 7,390.00 Parsecs from the Galactic Centre or in terms of Light Years is 24,103.47 s. 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 9,140 Kelvin.

Alphecca Radius has been calculated as being 3.07 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 2,135,459.38.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 3.08. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and has been known to produce widely incorrect figures.

Alphecca Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Alphecca has an apparent magnitude of 2.22 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 0.42 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 0.41. 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 Alphecca

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 43.65 which gave the calculated distance to Alphecca as 74.72 light years away from Earth or 22.91 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 74.72 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 43.46 which put Alphecca at a distance of 75.05 light years or 23.01 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 4,746,120.12 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.

The star's Galacto-Centric Distance is 7,390.00 Parsecs or 24,103.47 Light Years. The Galacto-Centric Distance is the distance from the star to the Centre of the Galaxy which is Sagittarius A*.

Variable Type of Alphecca

The star is a eclipsing binary sys Beta Persei (Algol) 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. Alphecca brightness ranges from a magnitude of 2.290 to a magnitude of 2.213 over its variable period. The smaller the magnitude, the brighter the star. Its variable/pulsating period lasts for 0.0 days (variability).

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.

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Additional Alphecca Facts and Figures

Visual Facts

Primary / Proper / Traditional NameAlphecca
Alternative NamesAlpha Coronae Borealis, Alf Crb, Al-Fakkah, HD 139006, HIP 76267, HR 5793, 5 Coronae Borealis, 5 CrB, BD+27 2512, alf CrB
Spectral TypeA0V
Constellation's Main StarYes
Multiple Star SystemYes
Star Type main sequence Dwarf Star
Colour blue
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationCorona Borealis
Absolute Magnitude 0.42 / 0.41
Visual / Apparent Magnitude2.22
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)15h 34m 41.19
Declination (Dec.)+26° 42` 53.7
Galactic Latitude53.77 degrees
Galactic Longitude41.87 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth43.65 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 74.72 Light Years
 22.91 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth43.46 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 75.05 Light Years
 23.01 Parsecs
 4,746,120.12 Astronomical Units
Galacto-Centric Distance24,103.47 Light Years / 7,390.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.-89.58 ± 0.17 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.120.27 ± 0.28 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index0.03
Radial Velocity1.40 ± 1.78 km/s
Semi-Major Axis8899.00
Stellar Luminosity (Lsun)63.30
Orbital Period (Days)17.36
Argument Of Periastron311.00
Brightest in Night Sky65th

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts

Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Variable Star Details

Variable Star ClassEclipsing binary sys
Variable Star TypeBeta Persei (Algol)
Mean Variability Period in Days0.016
Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)2.213 - 2.290

Estimated Facts

Calculated Effective Temperature9,140 Kelvin

Sources and Links

SIMBAD SourceLink

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