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Epsilon Centauri - HD118716 - HIP66657

Epsilon Centauri is a blue giant star that can be located in the constellation of Centaurus. It is the 77th brightest star in the night sky. Epsilon Centauri is the Bayer Classification for the star. HIP66657 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD118716. The Id of the star in the Gould Star Catalogue is 245. Stars in the southern hemisphere are more likely to have a Gould Id than the northern hemisphere. For example, there are no Gould classified stars in Ursa Major. Epsilon Centauri has alternative name(s), Epsilon CenTau , .

Location of Epsilon Centauri

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 Epsilon Centauri, the location is 13h 39m 53.27 and -53d27`58.9 .

Proper Motion of Epsilon Centauri

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 -011.72 ± 000.31 towards the north and -015.30 ± 000.48 east if we saw them in the horizon.

Physical Properties (Colour, Temperature, Radius) of Epsilon Centauri

Epsilon Centauri has a spectral type of B1III. This means the star is a blue giant 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 14,786 Kelvin.

Epsilon Centauri has been calculated as 5.72 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 3,978,469.89.km.

Epsilon Centauri Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Epsilon Centauri has an apparent magnitude of 2.29 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 -3.02 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of -3.30. 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 Epsilon Centauri

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 8.68 which gave the calculated distance to Epsilon Centauri as 375.76 light years away from Earth or 115.21 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 375.76 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 7.63 which put Epsilon Centauri at a distance of 427.47 light years or 131.06 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.

Epsilon Centauri Facts

Alternative Names

Bayer DesignationEpsilon Centauri
Alternative Name(s)Epsilon CenTau
Hipparcos Library I.D.66657
Gould I.D.245
Henry Draper Designation118716

Visual Facts

Star Typegiant star
Absolute Magnitude-3.02 / -3.30
Apparent Magnitude2.29
Right Ascension (R.A.)13h 39m 53.27
Declination (Dec.)-53d27`58.9
1997 Distance from Earth8.68 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 375.76 Light Years
 115.21 Parsecs
2007 Revised Distance from Earth7.63 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 427.47 Light Years
 131.06 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.-11.72 ± 0.31 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-15.30 ± 0.48 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index-0.17
Spectral TypeB1III
Brightest in Night Sky77th
Colour(B) blue

Estimated Facts

Radius (x the Sun)5.72
Calculated Effective Temperature14,786 Kelvin

Sources and Links

SIMBAD SourceLink

Related Stars

Multi-Star System

The star has been identified as being a multi-star system, one in which there is at least one star in close orbit to another star or two or more stars orbiting a central point. The stars may be of equal mass, unequal mass where one star is stronger than the other or be in groups orbiting a central point which doesn't necessarily have to be a star. More information can be found on my dedicated multiple star systems page. The source of the info is Simbad. The file is dated 2000 so any differences between this and any other source will be down to the actual source from where the information came from.


Proper Motion mas/yr
H.D. IdB.D. IdStar CodeMagnitudeR.A.Dec.SpectrumColourYear
118716-52 6655.4A2.60000-22.00000-17.00000B2Blue/White
B13.000001948

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