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Beta Pictoris - HD39060 - HIP27321

Beta Pictoris is a blue main sequence dwarf star that can be located in the constellation of Pictor. Beta Pictoris is the Bayer Classification for the star. HIP27321 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD39060. Beta Pictoris has at least 1 Extrasolar Planets believed to be in orbit around the star.

Location of Beta Pictoris

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 Beta Pictoris, the location is 05h 47m 17.08 and -51d04`00.2 .

Proper Motion of Beta Pictoris

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 83.10 ± 0.11 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and 4.65 ± 0.12 miliarcseconds/year east if we saw them in the horizon.

Beta Pictoris 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 14.0000000 that I have given is based on the Spectral Types page that I have found on the Internet. You might find a different figure, one that may have been calculated rather than generalised that I have done. The figure is always the amount times the luminosity of the Sun. It is an imprecise figure because of a number of factors including but not limited to whether the star is a variable star and distance.

Physical Properties (Colour, Temperature, Mass, Radius) of Beta Pictoris

Beta Pictoris has a spectral type of A3V. This means the star is a blue main sequence dwarf star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 0.17 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 7,952 Kelvin.

Beta Pictoris has been calculated as 1.61 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 1,123,081.64.km. The star's solar mass is 2.00 times that of the Sun's. The Sun's Mass is 1,989,100,000,000,000,000,000 billion kg. which to calculate using this website is too large. To give idea of size, the Sun is 99.86% the mass of the solar system.

Beta Pictoris Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Beta Pictoris has an apparent magnitude of 3.85 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 2.41. 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 Beta Pictoris

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 51.87 which gave the calculated distance to Beta Pictoris as 62.88 light years away from Earth or 19.28 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 62.88 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 51.44 which put Beta Pictoris at a distance of 63.41 light years or 19.44 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.

Beta Pictoris Facts

Alternative Names

Bayer DesignationBeta Pictoris
Hipparcos Library I.D.27321
Henry Draper Designation39060

Visual Facts

Star Typemain sequence dwarf star
Absolute Magnitude2.42 / 2.41
Apparent Magnitude3.85
Right Ascension (R.A.)05h 47m 17.08
Declination (Dec.)-51d04`00.2
1997 Distance from Earth51.87 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 62.88 Light Years
 19.28 Parsecs
2007 Revised Distance from Earth51.44 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 63.41 Light Years
 19.44 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.83.10 ± 0.11 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.4.65 ± 0.12 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index0.17
Spectral TypeA3V
Colour(A) blue

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts

Exoplanet Count1

Estimated Facts

Radius (x the Sun)1.61
Luminosity (x the Sun)14.0000000
Calculated Effective Temperature7,952 Kelvin
Mass Compared to the Sun2.00

Sources and Links

SIMBAD SourceLink

Related Stars


List of Extrasolar Planets orbiting Beta Pictoris


NameStatusMass (Jupiters)Orbital Period (Days)EccentricityDiscoveredSemi-Major AxisPeriastronInclination
Beta Pic BConfirmed713288.0000.323200813.1887.00089.000

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