Universe Guide


Barnard`s Star - HIP87937

Barnard`s Star is a star that can be located in the constellation of Ophiuchus. HIP87937 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue.

Location of Barnard`s Star

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 Barnard`s Star, the location is 17h 57m 48.97 and +04d40`05.8 .

Proper Motion of Barnard`s Star

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 10,328.12 ± 001.01 towards the north and -798.58 ± 001.51 east if we saw them in the horizon.

Physical Properties (Temperature, Radius) of Barnard`s Star

Barnard`s Star has a spectral type of sdM4. This means the star is a star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 1.57 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 3,854 Kelvin.

Barnard`s Star has been calculated as 0.05 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 32,766.83.km.

Barnard`s Star Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Barnard`s Star has an apparent magnitude of 9.54 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 13.24 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 13.24. 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 Barnard`s Star

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 549.01 which gave the calculated distance to Barnard`s Star as 5.94 light years away from Earth or 1.82 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 5.94 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 548.31 which put Barnard`s Star at a distance of 5.95 light years or 1.82 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.

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 Stellar Age, Metallicity or Mass is from the E.U. Exoplanets. The information was obtained as of 12th Feb 2017.

Barnard`s Star Facts

Alternative Names

Traditional NameBarnard`s Star
Hipparcos Library I.D.87937
Bonner DurchmusterungBD+04 3561a

Visual Facts

Star Type star
Absolute Magnitude13.24 / 13.24
Apparent Magnitude9.54
Right Ascension (R.A.)17h 57m 48.97
Declination (Dec.)+04d40`05.8
1997 Distance from Earth549.01 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 5.94 Light Years
 1.82 Parsecs
2007 Revised Distance from Earth548.31 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 5.95 Light Years
 1.82 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.10328.12 ± 1.01 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-798.58 ± 1.51 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index1.57
Spectral TypesdM4

Estimated Facts

Radius (x the Sun)0.05
Calculated Effective Temperature3,854 Kelvin

Sources and Links

SIMBAD SourceLink

Related Stars

Location of Barnard`s Star in Ophiuchus

Barnard`s Star Location in Ophiuchus

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

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