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 48.49 and +04 d 41 ` 36.2072 .
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 10,328.00 ± 001.00 towards the north and -799.00 ± 002.00 east if we saw them in the horizon.
Barnard`s Star has a spectral type of M4Ve. This means the star is a red coloured main sequence dwarf star.
Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 549.00 which gave the calculated distance to Barnard`s Star as 5.94 light years away from Earth or 1.82 parsecs. In 2007, Hipparcos data was revised with a new parallax of 548.00 which put Barnard`s Star at a distance of 5.95 light years or 1.82 parsecs.
It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 5.94 years using the 1997 distance to get there. We don't have the technology or spaceship that can carry people over that distance yet.
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.
|Traditional Name||Barnard`s Star|
|Hipparcos Library I.D.||87937|
|Bonner Durchmusterung||BD+04 3561a|
|Right Ascension (R.A.)||17h 57m 48.49|
|Declination (Dec.)||+04 d 41 ` 36.2072|
|1997 Distance from Earth||549.00 Parallax (milliarcseconds)|
|5.94 Light Years|
|2007 Distance from Earth||548.00 Parallax (milliarcseconds)|
|5.95 Light Years|
|Proper Motion Dec.||10328.00 ± 1.00 milliarcseconds/year|
|Proper Motion RA.||-799.00 ± 2.00 milliarcseconds/year|
|Star Type||main sequence dwarf star|
The map was generated using Night Vision, an awesome free application by Brian Simpson.