Universe Guide

Aludra (Eta Canis Majoris, 31 Canis Majoris) Star Facts

Aludra Facts

Aludra's Alternative Names

Eta Canis Majoris (Eta Cma) is the Bayer Classification for the star. The Bayer Classification was created by Johann Bayer in 1603. The brightest star in the constellation is normally given the Alpha designation, there are exceptions such as Pollux which is Beta Geminorum.

The Id of the star in the Yale Bright Star Catalogue is HR2827. HIP35904 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD58350.

Aludra has alternative name(s) :- , eta CMa. In Arabic, it is known as Al-'Udhrah.

Flamsteed designations are named after the creator, Sir John Flamsteed. Sir John named the stars in the constellation with a number and its latin name, this star's Flamsteed designation is 31 Canis Majoris. The Flamsteed name can be shortened to 31 Cma.

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 CD-29 4328.

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

Location of Aludra

The location of the supergiant 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 Aludra, the location is 07h 24m 05.71 and -29° 18` 11.2 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of Aludra

Proper Motion

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 5.81 ± 0.35 milliarcseconds/year towards the north and -4.14 ± 0.40 milliarcseconds/year east if we saw them in the horizon.

Radial Velocity

The Radial Velocity, that is the speed at which the star is moving away/towards the Sun is 41.10 km/s with an error of about 2.50 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.

Physical Properties (Colour, Temperature) of Aludra

Aludra Colour and Temperature

Aludra has a spectral type of B5Ia. This means the star is a blue supergiant star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of -0.08 which means the star's temperature is about 12,939 Kelvin. The temperature was calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being .

Aludra Radius

Radius has been calculated as being 59.04 times bigger than the Sun. The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 41,082,809.35.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 36.74. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and has been known to produce widely incorrect figures.

Aludra Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Aludra has an apparent magnitude of 2.45 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 -7.51 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of -6.48. 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 Aludra

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 1.02 which gave the calculated distance to Aludra as 3197.68 light years away from Earth or 980.39 parsecs. If you want that in miles, it is 2,144,417,382,221.

In 2007, Hipparcos data was revised with a new parallax of 1.64 which put Aludra at a distance of 1988.80 light years or 609.76 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 125,771,151.87 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.

Travel Time to Aludra

The time it will take to travel to this star is dependent on how fast you are going. U.G. has done some calculations as to how long it will take going at differing speeds. A note about the calculations, when I'm talking about years, I'm talking non-leap years only (365 days).

The New Horizons space probe is the fastest probe that we've sent into space at the time of writing. Its primary mission was to visit Pluto which at the time of launch (2006), Pluto was still a planet.

DescriptionSpeed (m.p.h.)Time (years)
Airbus A3807361,812,122,760.54
Speed of Sound (Mach 1)767.2691,738,272,172.80
Concorde (Mach 2)1,534.54869,134,953.64
New Horizons Probe33,00040,415,828.84
Speed of Light670,616,629.001,988.80
Aludra brightness ranges from a magnitude of 2.478 to a magnitude of 2.382 over its variable period. The smaller the magnitude, the brighter the star. Its variable/pulsating period lasts for 0.1 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 Aludra Facts and Figures

Visual Facts

Primary / Proper / Traditional NameAludra
Alternative NamesEta Canis Majoris, Eta Cma, Al-'Udhrah, HD 58350, HIP 35904, HR 2827, 31 Canis Majoris, 31 Cma, CD-29 4328, eta CMa
Spectral TypeB5Ia
Constellation's Main StarYes
Multiple Star SystemYes
Star Type very luminous Supergiant Star
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationCanis Major
Absolute Magnitude -7.51 / -6.48
Visual / Apparent Magnitude2.45
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)07h 24m 05.71
Declination (Dec.)-29° 18` 11.2
Galactic Latitude-6.49 degrees
Galactic Longitude242.62 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth1.02 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 3197.68 Light Years
 980.39 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth1.64 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 1988.80 Light Years
 609.76 Parsecs
 125,771,151.87 Astronomical Units
Proper Motion Dec.5.81 ± 0.35 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-4.14 ± 0.40 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index-0.08
Radial Velocity41.10 ± 2.50 km/s
Brightest in Night Sky87th

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts

Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Variable Star Details

Mean Variability Period in Days0.079
Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)2.382 - 2.478

Estimated Calculated Facts

Radius (x the Sun)36.74
Effective Temperature12,939 Kelvin

Sources and Links

SIMBAD SourceLink

Multi-Star System

The star has been identified as being a multi-star system, one in which there is at least one star in close orbit to another star or two or more stars orbiting a central point. The stars may be of equal mass, unequal mass where one star is stronger than the other or be in groups orbiting a central point which doesn't necessarily have to be a star. More information can be found on my dedicated multiple star systems page. The source of the info is Simbad. The file is dated 2000 so any differences between this and any other source will be down to the actual source from where the information came from.

Proper Motion mas/yr
H.D. IdB.D. IdStar CodeMagnitudeR.A.Dec.SpectrumColourYear
58350-29 4328.2A2.40000-9.000003.00000B7Blue/White
58324-29 4321.2B6.90000-31.000000.00000A0White1833

Location of Aludra in Canis Major

Aludra Location in Canis Major

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

Canis Major Main Stars

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