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FU Aurigae (Carbon Star) Facts

FU Aurigae Facts

  • FU Aurigae is a pulsating Carbon star that can be located in the constellation of Auriga. The description is based on the spectral class.
  • FU Aurigae is not part of the constellation outline but is within the borders of the constellation.
  • Based on the spectral type (C4II) of the star, the star's colour is carbon red .
  • The star can not be seen by the naked eye, you need a telescope to see it.
  • Using the most recent figures given by the 2007 Hipparcos data, the star is 2912.17 light years away from us. Distance

FU Aurigae's Alternative Names

HIP27398 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD38572.

FU Aurigae has alternative name(s) :- , FU Aur.

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+30 1014.

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

Location of FU Aurigae

The location of the Carbon 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 FU Aurigae, the location is 05h 48m 08.18 and +30° 37` 51.9 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of FU Aurigae

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 -3.04 ± 0.87 milliarcseconds/year towards the north and -2.56 ± 1.38 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 17.50000 km/s with an error of about 1.90 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 of FU Aurigae

FU Aurigae Temperature and Colour

Based on the star's spectral type of C4II , FU Aurigae's colour and type is carbon red Carbon star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 2.52 which means the star's temperature is about 12 Kelvin. The temperature was calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu.

FU Aurigae Radius

FU Aurigae estimated radius has been calculated as being 2,573,621.31 times bigger than the Sun. The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 1,790,725,709,304.54.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 4271254.4439524589129322237774. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS rather than peer reviewed papers. It has been known to produce widely incorrect figures.

FU Aurigae Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

FU Aurigae has an apparent magnitude of 8.27 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 -0.38 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of -1.48. 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 FU Aurigae

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 1.86000 which gave the calculated distance to FU Aurigae as 1753.57 light years away from Earth or 537.63 parsecs. If you want that in miles, it is about 10,308,581,095,653,582.99, based on 1 Ly = 5,878,625,373,183.61 miles.

In 2007, Hipparcos data was revised with a new parallax of 1.12000 which put FU Aurigae at a distance of 2912.17 light years or 892.86 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 184,164,311.63 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 FU Aurigae

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)
Walking4488,237,407,118.73
Car12016,274,580,237.29
Airbus A3807362,653,464,169.12
Speed of Sound (Mach 1)767.2692,545,325,861.56
Concorde (Mach 2)1,534.541,272,661,272.09
New Horizons Probe33,00059,180,291.77
Speed of Light670,616,629.002,912.17

Variable Type of FU Aurigae

The star is a pulsating Slow Irregular variable type which means that its size changes over time. The Variable Type is usually named after the first star of that type to be spotted. FU Aurigae brightness ranges from a magnitude of 8.374 to a magnitude of 8.074 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 FU Aurigae Facts and Figures

Visual Facts


Primary / Proper / Traditional NameFU Aurigae
Alternative NamesHD 38572, HIP 27398, BD+30 1014, FU Aur
Spectral TypeC4II
Constellation's Main StarNo
Multiple Star SystemNo / Unknown
Star TypeCarbon Star
ColourRed
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationAuriga
Absolute Magnitude -0.38 / -1.48
Visual / Apparent Magnitude8.27
Naked Eye VisibleRequires a 7x50 Binoculars - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)05h 48m 08.18
Declination (Dec.)+30° 37` 51.9
Galactic Latitude1.34585837 degrees
Galactic Longitude178.83392776 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth1.86000 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 1753.57 Light Years
 537.63 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth1.12000 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 2912.17 Light Years
 892.86 Parsecs
 184,164,311.63 Astronomical Units
Proper Motion Dec.-3.04000 ± 0.87000 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-2.56000 ± 1.38000 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index2.52
Radial Velocity17.50000 ± 1.90 km/s

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts


Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Variable Star Details


Variable Star ClassPulsating
Variable Star TypeSlow Irregular
Mean Variability Period in Days0.234
Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)8.074 - 8.374

Estimated Calculated Facts


Radius (x the Sun)4,271,254.44
Effective Temperature12 Kelvin

Sources and Links


SIMBAD SourceLink

Related Stars


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