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FU Draconis

FU Draconis Facts

FU Draconis's Alternative Names

HIP76272 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue.

FU Draconis has alternative name(s) :- FU Dra, FU Dra.

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

Location of FU Draconis

The location of the variable 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 Draconis, the location is 15h 34m 45.53 and +62° 16` 44.1 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of FU Draconis

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 15.90 ± 0.99 milliarcseconds/year towards the north and -255.84 ± 1.09 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 -11.38 km/s with an error of about 1.14 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.

FU Draconis 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 1.20 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 FU Draconis

FU Draconis Colour and Temperature

FU Draconis has a spectral type of G0:. This means the star is a yellow variable star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 0.59 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 5,898 Kelvin.

FU Draconis Radius

Radius has been calculated as being 1.13 times bigger than the Sun. The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 783,310.80.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 1.07. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and has been known to produce widely incorrect figures.

FU Draconis Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

FU Draconis has an apparent magnitude of 10.52 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 4.50 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 4.62. 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 Draconis

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 6.25 which gave the calculated distance to FU Draconis as 521.86 light years away from Earth or 160 parsecs. If you want that in miles, it is 2,905,157,873,173,603.28.

In 2007, Hipparcos data was revised with a new parallax of 6.60 which put FU Draconis at a distance of 494.19 light years or 151.52 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 31,253,025.67 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.

The star's Galacto-Centric Distance is 7,414.00 Parsecs or 24,181.75 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 FU Draconis

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 25,565,161,977,079.95 hours or 2,918,397,485.97 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 FU Draconis then it would take 92,964,225,371.20 hours / 10,612,354.49 years to get there. Speed Ref: N.A.S.A.

It would to take a spaceship journey travelling at the speed of light, 521.86 years to get there. We don't have the technology or spaceship that can carry people over that distance yet.

Variable Type of FU Draconis

The star is a eclipsing binary sys W Ursae Majoris 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 Draconis brightness ranges from a magnitude of 11.098 to a magnitude of 10.551 over its variable period. The smaller the magnitude, the brighter the star. Its variable/pulsating period lasts for 0.3 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 Draconis Facts and Figures

Visual Facts


Primary / Proper / Traditional NameFU Draconis
Alternative NamesFU Dra, HIP 76272, FU Dra
Spectral TypeG0:
Constellation's Main StarNo
Multiple Star SystemNo / Unknown
Star TypeVariable Star
ColourYellow
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationDraco
Absolute Magnitude 4.50 / 4.62
Visual / Apparent Magnitude10.52
Naked Eye VisibleRequires a 4.5 - 6 Inch Telescope - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)15h 34m 45.53
Declination (Dec.)+62° 16` 44.1
Galactic Latitude45.80 degrees
Galactic Longitude97.07 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth6.25 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 521.86 Light Years
 160 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth6.60 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 494.19 Light Years
 151.52 Parsecs
 31,253,025.67 Astronomical Units
Galacto-Centric Distance24,181.75 Light Years / 7,414.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.15.90 ± 0.99 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-255.84 ± 1.09 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index0.59
Radial Velocity-11.38 ± 1.14 km/s
Eccentricity0.61
Semi-Major Axis4175.00
Stellar Luminosity (Lsun)1.20

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts


Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Variable Star Details


Variable Star ClassEclipsing binary sys
Variable Star TypeW Ursae Majoris
Mean Variability Period in Days0.307
Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)10.551 - 11.098

Estimated Calculated Facts


Radius (x the Sun)1.07
Effective Temperature5,898 Kelvin

Sources and Links


SIMBAD SourceLink

Related Stars


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