Universe Guide

FW Canis Majoris

FW Canis Majoris Facts

  • FW Canis Majoris is a eruptive main sequence star that can be located in the constellation of Canis Major. The description is based on the spectral class.
  • FW Canis Majoris is not part of the constellation outline but is within the borders of the constellation.
  • Based on the spectral type (B2Vne) of the star, the star's colour is blue .
  • The star can be seen with the naked eye, that is, you don't need a telescope/binoculars to see it.
  • Using the most recent figures given by the 2007 Hipparcos data, the star is 937.25 light years away from us. Distance

FW Canis Majoris's Alternative Names

HIP35951 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD58343.

FW Canis Majoris has alternative name(s) :- FW CMa, FW CMa.

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-15 1810.

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

Location of FW Canis Majoris

The location of the main sequence 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 FW Canis Majoris, the location is 07h 24m 40.19 and -16° 12` 05.1 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of FW Canis Majoris

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 -20.21 ± 0.33 milliarcseconds/year towards the north and -4.95 ± 0.58 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 1.80000 km/s with an error of about 1.70 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 FW Canis Majoris

FW Canis Majoris Colour and Temperature

Based on the star's spectral type of B2Vne , FW Canis Majoris's colour and type is blue main sequence star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of -0.03 which means the star's temperature is about 10,010 Kelvin. The temperature was calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu.

FW Canis Majoris 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 731.75 that I have given is based on the value in the Simbad Hipparcos Extended Catalogue at the University of Strasbourg from 2012.

FW Canis Majoris Radius

FW Canis Majoris estimated radius has been calculated as being 8.28 times bigger than the Sun. The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 5,761,566.60.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 8.204572666594388461653509168. 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.

FW Canis Majoris Iron Abundance

FW Canis Majoris Iron Abundance is 0.01 with an error value of 9.99 Fe/H with the Sun has a value of 1 to put it into context. The value comes from the Hipparcos Extended Catalog.

FW Canis Majoris Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

FW Canis Majoris has an apparent magnitude of 5.18 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 -2.13 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of -2.11. 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 FW Canis Majoris

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 3.45000 which gave the calculated distance to FW Canis Majoris as 945.40 light years away from Earth or 289.86 parsecs. If you want that in miles, it is about 5,557,652,427,807,784.89, based on 1 Ly = 5,878,625,373,183.61 miles.

In 2007, Hipparcos data was revised with a new parallax of 3.48000 which put FW Canis Majoris at a distance of 937.25 light years or 287.36 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 59,271,841.71 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 7,578.00 Parsecs or 24,716.66 Light Years. The Galacto-Centric Distance is the distance from the star to the Centre of the Galaxy which is Sagittarius A*.

Travel Time to FW Canis Majoris

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 A380736853,988,363.49
Speed of Sound (Mach 1)767.269819,185,234.29
Concorde (Mach 2)1,534.54409,592,083.32
New Horizons Probe33,00019,046,528.35
Speed of Light670,616,629.00937.25

Variable Type of FW Canis Majoris

The star is a eruptive Gamma Cassiopeiae 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. FW Canis Majoris brightness ranges from a magnitude of 5.342 to a magnitude of 5.065 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 FW Canis Majoris Facts and Figures

Visual Facts

Primary / Proper / Traditional NameFW Canis Majoris
Alternative NamesFW CMa, HD 58343, HIP 35951, BD-15 1810, FW CMa
Spectral TypeB2Vne
Constellation's Main StarNo
Multiple Star SystemNo / Unknown
Star Type Main Sequence Dwarf Star
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationCanis Major
Absolute Magnitude -2.13 / -2.11
Visual / Apparent Magnitude5.18
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)07h 24m 40.19
Declination (Dec.)-16° 12` 05.1
Galactic Latitude-0.21402220 degrees
Galactic Longitude231.08714894 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth3.45000 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 945.40 Light Years
 289.86 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth3.48000 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 937.25 Light Years
 287.36 Parsecs
 59,271,841.71 Astronomical Units
Galacto-Centric Distance24,716.66 Light Years / 7,578.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.-20.21000 ± 0.33000 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-4.95000 ± 0.58000 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index-0.03
Radial Velocity1.80000 ± 1.70 km/s
Iron Abundance0.0100 ± 9.99 Fe/H
Semi-Major Axis7848.0000000
Stellar Luminosity (Lsun)731.7500000

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts

Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Variable Star Details

Variable Star ClassEruptive
Variable Star TypeGamma Cassiopeiae
Mean Variability Period in Days0.263
Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)5.065 - 5.342

Estimated Calculated Facts

Radius (x the Sun)8.20
Effective Temperature10,010 Kelvin

Sources and Links

SIMBAD SourceLink

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