Universe Guide

FK Serpentis

FK Serpentis Facts

FK Serpentis's Alternative Names

HIP89874 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue.

FK Serpentis has alternative name(s) :- , FK Ser.

BD number is the number that the star was filed under in the Durchmusterung or Bonner Durchmusterung, a star catalogue that was put together by the Bonn Observatory between 1859 to 1903. The star's BD Number is BD-10 4662.

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

Location of FK Serpentis

The location of the T-Tauri 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 FK Serpentis, the location is 18h 20m 22.74 and -10° 11` 13.3 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of FK Serpentis

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 -33.91 ± 2.84 milliarcseconds/year towards the north and 10.51 ± 3.81 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 -9.70 km/s with an error of about 0.20 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.

Physical Properties (Colour) of FK Serpentis

FK Serpentis Colour and Temperature

FK Serpentis has a spectral type of K5Ve+K7Ve Li. This means the star is a orange to red T-Tauri star.

FK Serpentis Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

FK Serpentis has an apparent magnitude of 10.59 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 5.46 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 6.21. 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 FK Serpentis

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 9.42 which gave the calculated distance to FK Serpentis as 346 light years away from Earth or 106 parsecs. If you want that in miles, it is 232,033,353,634.

In 2007, Hipparcos data was revised with a new parallax of 13.17 which put FK Serpentis at a distance of 247 light years or 75 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 15,469,752.67 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.

Travel Time to FK Serpentis

The time it will take to travel to this star is dependent on how fast you are going. U.G. has done some calculations as to how long it will take going at differing speeds. A note about the calculations, when I'm talking about years, I'm talking non-leap years only (365 days).

The New Horizons space probe is the fastest probe that we've sent into space at the time of writing. Its primary mission was to visit Pluto which at the time of launch (2006), Pluto was still a planet.

DescriptionSpeed (m.p.h.)Time (years)
Airbus A380736225,057,482.00
Speed of Sound (Mach 1)767.269215,885,572.00
Concorde (Mach 2)1,534.54107,942,645.00
New Horizons Probe33,0005,019,463.00
Speed of Light670,616,629.00247.00
FK Serpentis brightness ranges from a magnitude of 10.850 to a magnitude of 10.620 over its variable period. The smaller the magnitude, the brighter the star. Its variable/pulsating period lasts for 0.2 days (variability).

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 FK Serpentis Facts and Figures

Visual Facts

Primary / Proper / Traditional NameFK Serpentis
Alternative NamesHIP 89874, BD-10 4662, FK Ser
Spectral TypeK5Ve+K7Ve Li
Constellation's Main StarNo
Multiple Star SystemYes
Star TypeT-Tauri
ColourOrange to Red
GalaxyMilky Way
Absolute Magnitude 5.46 / 6.21
Visual / Apparent Magnitude10.59
Naked Eye VisibleRequires a 4.5 - 6 Inch Telescope - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)18h 20m 22.74
Declination (Dec.)-10° 11` 13.3
Galactic Latitude2.16 degrees
Galactic Longitude20.33 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth9.42 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 346 Light Years
 106 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth13.17 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 247 Light Years
 75 Parsecs
 15,469,752.67 Astronomical Units
Proper Motion Dec.-33.91 ± 2.84 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.10.51 ± 3.81 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index-99.00
Radial Velocity-9.70 ± 0.20 km/s

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts

Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Variable Star Details

Mean Variability Period in Days0.167
Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)10.620 - 10.850

Sources and Links

SIMBAD SourceLink

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
-10 4662.0A-14.00000-19.00000K5Orange

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