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AL Virginis

AL Virginis Facts

  • AL Virginis is a pulsating giant star that can be located in the constellation of Virgo. The description is based on the spectral class.
  • AL Virginis is not part of the constellation outline but is within the borders of the constellation.
  • Based on the spectral type (F3/F5III) of the star, the star's colour is yellow to white .
  • The star can not be seen by the naked eye, you need a telescope to see it.
  • Using the most recent figures given by the 2007 Hipparcos data, the star is 1090.85 light years away from us. Distance

AL Virginis's Alternative Names

HIP69306 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD123984.

AL Virginis has alternative name(s) :- AL Vir, AL Vir.

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-12 3993.

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

Location of AL Virginis

The location of the giant 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 AL Virginis, the location is 14h 11m 09.05 and -13° 18` 38.4 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of AL Virginis

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 -0.08 ± 0.75 milliarcseconds/year towards the north and -3.97 ± 1.33 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 21.80000 km/s with an error of about 1.90 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 of AL Virginis

AL Virginis Colour and Temperature

Based on the star's spectral type of F3/F5III , AL Virginis's colour and type is yellow to white giant star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 0.49 which means the star's temperature is about 6,327 Kelvin. The temperature was calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu.

AL Virginis Radius

AL Virginis estimated radius has been calculated as being 23.69 times bigger than the Sun. The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 16,482,228.09.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 3.0094526371289633229469473045. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS rather than peer reviewed papers. It has been known to produce widely incorrect figures.

AL Virginis Iron Abundance

AL Virginis Iron Abundance is -0.68 with an error value of 9.99 Fe/H with the Sun has a value of 1 to put it into context. The value comes from the Hipparcos Extended Catalog.

AL Virginis Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

AL Virginis has an apparent magnitude of 9.68 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 -2.42 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 2.06. 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 AL Virginis

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 0.38000 which gave the calculated distance to AL Virginis as 8583.25 light years away from Earth or 2631.58 parsecs. If you want that in miles, it is about 50,457,711,234,378,220.53, based on 1 Ly = 5,878,625,373,183.61 miles.

In 2007, Hipparcos data was revised with a new parallax of 2.99000 which put AL Virginis at a distance of 1090.85 light years or 334.45 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 68,984,783.76 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 AL Virginis

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)
Walking4182,885,537,436.16
Car1206,096,184,581.21
Airbus A380736993,943,138.24
Speed of Sound (Mach 1)767.269953,436,343.37
Concorde (Mach 2)1,534.54476,717,550.37
New Horizons Probe33,00022,167,943.93
Speed of Light670,616,629.001,090.85

Variable Type of AL Virginis

The star is a pulsating W Virginis Stars, A 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. AL Virginis brightness ranges from a magnitude of 10.043 to a magnitude of 9.221 over its variable period. The smaller the magnitude, the brighter the star. Its variable/pulsating period lasts for 10.3 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 AL Virginis Facts and Figures

Visual Facts


Primary / Proper / Traditional NameAL Virginis
Alternative NamesAL Vir, HD 123984, HIP 69306, BD-12 3993, AL Vir
Spectral TypeF3/F5III
Constellation's Main StarNo
Multiple Star SystemNo / Unknown
Star TypeGiant Star
ColourYellow - White
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationVirgo
Absolute Magnitude -2.42 / 2.06
Visual / Apparent Magnitude9.68
Naked Eye VisibleRequires a 7x50 Binoculars - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)14h 11m 09.05
Declination (Dec.)-13° 18` 38.4
Galactic Latitude45.17288999 degrees
Galactic Longitude330.99848965 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth0.38000 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 8583.25 Light Years
 2631.58 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth2.99000 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 1090.85 Light Years
 334.45 Parsecs
 68,984,783.76 Astronomical Units
Proper Motion Dec.-0.08000 ± 0.75000 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA. -3.97000 ± 1.33000 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index0.49
Radial Velocity21.80000 ± 1.90 km/s
Iron Abundance-0.6800 ± 9.99 Fe/H

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts


Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Variable Star Details


Variable Star ClassPulsating
Variable Star TypeW Virginis Stars, A
Mean Variability Period in Days10.311
Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)9.221 - 10.043

Estimated Calculated Facts


Radius (x the Sun)3.01
Effective Temperature6,327 Kelvin

Sources and Links


SIMBAD SourceLink

Related Stars


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