Universe Guide

Beta Reticuli

Beta Reticuli Facts

Beta Reticuli's Alternative Names

Beta Reticuli (Bet Ret) is the Bayer Classification for the star. The Bayer Classification was created by Johann Bayer in the early nineteenth century. The brightest star in the constellation is normally given the Alpha designation although there are exceptions such as Pollux which is Beta Geminorum.

The Id of the star in the Yale Bright Star Catalogue is HR1175. HIP17440 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD23817. The Gliese ID of the star is GL 154.2. The star was part of the original catalogue devised by German Astronomer Wilheim Gliese of stars located within 20 parsecs of Earth. Star Names

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

Location of Beta Reticuli

The location of the subgiant 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 Beta Reticuli, the location is 03h 44m 11.55 and -64° 48` 25.5 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of Beta Reticuli

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 77.50 ± 0.50 milliarcseconds/year towards the north and 307.13 ± 0.53 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 51.10 km/s with an error of about 4.10 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.

Beta Reticuli 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 37.81 that I have given is based on the value in the Simbad Hipparcos Extended Catalogue at the University of Strasbourg from 2012.

Physical Properties (Colour, Temperature) of Beta Reticuli

Beta Reticuli Colour and Temperature

Beta Reticuli has a spectral type of K0IV SB. This means the star is a orange to red subgiant star.

The star's effective temperature is 4,514 Kelvin which is cooler than our own Sun's effective Temperature which is 5,777 Kelvin

Beta Reticuli Radius

Radius has been calculated as being 7.64 times bigger than the Sun. The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 5,318,433.62.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 7.47. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and has been known to produce widely incorrect figures.

Beta Reticuli Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Beta Reticuli has an apparent magnitude of 3.84 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 1.41 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 1.46. 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 Reticuli

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 32.71 which gave the calculated distance to Beta Reticuli as 99.71 light years away from Earth or 30.57 parsecs. If you want that in miles, it is 572,519,325,094,350.80.

In 2007, Hipparcos data was revised with a new parallax of 33.49 which put Beta Reticuli at a distance of 97.39 light years or 29.86 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 6,159,024.20 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.

The star's Galacto-Centric Distance is 7,396.00 Parsecs or 24,123.04 Light Years. The Galacto-Centric Distance is the distance from the star to the Centre of the Galaxy which is Sagittarius A*.

Time to Travel to Beta Reticuli

A note about the calculations, when I'm talking about years, I'm talking non-leap years only (365 days).

If you were to drive there at about 120 m.p.h. in a car with an infinity engine so you didn't have to pull over for petrol, it would take you 4,884,647,799,667.81 hours or 557,608,196.31 years.

At the time of writing, the fastest probe so far created is the New Horizon probe which is travelling at a speed of 33,000 m.p.h. If the probe was travelling to Beta Reticuli then it would take 17,762,355,635.16 hours / 2,027,666.17 years to get there. Speed Ref: N.A.S.A.

It would to take a spaceship journey travelling at the speed of light, 99.71 years to get there. We don't have the technology or spaceship that can carry people over that distance yet.

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 Beta Reticuli Facts and Figures

Visual Facts

Primary / Proper / Traditional NameBeta Reticuli
Alternative NamesBet Ret, HD 23817, HIP 17440, HR 1175, Gliese 154.2
Spectral TypeK0IV SB
Constellation's Main StarYes
Multiple Star SystemYes
Star TypeSubgiant Star
ColourOrange to Red
GalaxyMilky Way
Absolute Magnitude 1.41 / 1.46
Visual / Apparent Magnitude3.84
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.) 03h 44m 11.55
Declination (Dec.)-64° 48` 25.5
Galactic Latitude-43.54 degrees
Galactic Longitude279.24 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth32.71 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 99.71 Light Years
 30.57 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth33.49 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 97.39 Light Years
 29.86 Parsecs
 6,159,024.20 Astronomical Units
Galacto-Centric Distance24,123.04 Light Years / 7,396.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.77.50 ± 0.50 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.307.13 ± 0.53 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index1.13
Radial Velocity51.10 ± 4.10 km/s
Semi-Major Axis4793.00
Stellar Luminosity (Lsun)37.81
Orbital Period (Days)1911.50
Argument Of Periastron13.80

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts

Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Estimated Calculated Facts

Radius (x the Sun)7.47
Effective Temperature4,611 Kelvin

Sources and Links

SIMBAD SourceLink

Reticulum Main Stars

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