Universe Guide


Eta Mensae, HD32440, HIP22871

Eta Mensae is a orange to red giant star that can be located in the constellation of Mensa. Eta Mensae is the brightest star in Mensa based on the Hipparcos 2007 apparent magnitude. The star can be seen with the naked eye, that is, you don't need a telescope/binoculars to see it.

Eta Mensae is the Bayer Classification for the star. HIP22871 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD32440.

Location of Eta Mensae

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 Eta Mensae, the location is 04h 55m 11.14 and -74d56`13.2 .

Proper Motion of Eta Mensae

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 61.52 ± 0.21 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and 28.27 ± 0.22 miliarcseconds/year east if we saw them in the horizon.

Physical Properties (Colour, Temperature, Radius) of Eta Mensae

Eta Mensae has a spectral type of K6III. This means the star is a orange to red giant star. The star is 7352.00000000 Parsecs from the Galactic Centre or terms of Light Years is 23979.5290508800000000s. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 1.51 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 3,971 Kelvin.

Eta Mensae Radius has been calculated as being 34.76 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 24,188,009.56.km. However with the 2007 release of updated Hipparcos files, the radius is now calculated at being round 32.59. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and has been known to produce widely incorrect figures. The star's Iron Abundance is -0.22 with an error value of 0.07 Fe/H with the Sun has a value of 1 to put it into context.

Eta Mensae Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Eta Mensae has an apparent magnitude of 5.47 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 -1.23 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of -1.09. 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 Eta Mensae

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 4.58 which gave the calculated distance to Eta Mensae as 712.15 light years away from Earth or 218.34 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 712.15 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 4.88 which put Eta Mensae at a distance of 668.37 light years or 204.92 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.

The star's Galacto-Centric Distance is 7,352.00 Parsecs or 23,979.53 Light Years. The Galacto-Centric Distance is the distance from the star to the Centre of the Galaxy which is Sagittarius A*.

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.

Eta Mensae Facts

Alternative Names

Bayer DesignationEta Mensae
Hipparcos Library I.D.22871
Henry Draper Designation32440

Visual Facts

Star Typegiant star
Absolute Magnitude-1.23 / -1.09
Visual / Apparent Magnitude5.47
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)04h 55m 11.14
Declination (Dec.)-74d56`13.2
Galactic Latitude-33.55 degrees
Galactic Longitude287.11 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth4.58 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 712.15 Light Years
 218.34 Parsecs
2007 Revised Distance from Earth4.88 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 668.37 Light Years
 204.92 Parsecs
Galacto-Centric Distance23,979.53 Light Years / 7,352.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.61.52 ± 0.21 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.28.27 ± 0.22 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index1.51
Radial Velocity25.80 ± 2.80 km/s
Iron Abundance-0.22 ± 0.07 Fe/H
Spectral TypeK6III
Colour(K) Orange to Red

Estimated Facts

Calculated Effective Temperature3,971 Kelvin

Sources and Links

SIMBAD SourceLink

Related Stars

Location of Eta Mensae in Mensa

Eta Mensae (Eta Mensae) Location in Mensa

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

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