Universe Guide

Gamma Canis Minoris (4 Canis Minoris) Star Facts

Gamma Canis Minoris Facts

  • Gamma Canis Minoris is a giant star that can be located in the constellation of Canis Minor. The description is based on the spectral class.
  • Gamma Canis Minoris is not part of the constellation outline but is within the borders of the constellation.
  • Based on the spectral type (K3III SB) of the star, the star's colour is orange to red .
  • 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 318.21 light years away from us. Distance

Gamma Canis Minoris's Alternative Names

Gamma Canis Minoris (Gam Cmi) is the Bayer Classification for the star. The Bayer Classification was created by Johann Bayer in 1603. The brightest star in the constellation is normally given the Alpha designation, there are exceptions such as Pollux which is Beta Geminorum.

The Id of the star in the Yale Bright Star Catalogue is HR2854. HIP36284 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD58972.

Flamsteed designations are named after the creator, Sir John Flamsteed. Sir John named the stars in the constellation with a number and its latin name, this star's Flamsteed designation is 4 Canis Minoris. The Flamsteed name can be shortened to 4 Cmi.

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+09 1660.

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

Location of Gamma Canis Minoris

The location of the giant 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 Gamma Canis Minoris, the location is 07h 28m 09.83 and +08° 55` 31.8 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of Gamma Canis Minoris

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 10.70 ± 0.28 milliarcseconds/year towards the north and -61.09 ± 0.47 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 46.80000 km/s with an error of about 0.30 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 Gamma Canis Minoris

Gamma Canis Minoris Temperature and Colour

Based on the star's spectral type of K3III SB , Gamma Canis Minoris's colour and type is orange to red giant star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 1.42 which means the star's temperature is about 4,126 Kelvin. The temperature was calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu.

Gamma Canis Minoris 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 363.38 that I have given is based on the value in the Simbad Hipparcos Extended Catalogue at the University of Strasbourg from 2012.

Gamma Canis Minoris Radius

Gamma Canis Minoris estimated radius has been calculated as being 30.33 times bigger than the Sun. The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 21,102,804.82.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 24.313699532465493146036063137. 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.

Gamma Canis Minoris Iron Abundance

Gamma Canis Minoris Iron Abundance is -0.27 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.

Gamma Canis Minoris Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Gamma Canis Minoris has an apparent magnitude of 4.33 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 -1.10 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of -0.62. 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 Gamma Canis Minoris

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 8.20000 which gave the calculated distance to Gamma Canis Minoris as 397.76 light years away from Earth or 121.95 parsecs. If you want that in miles, it is about 2,338,282,028,437,512.71, based on 1 Ly = 5,878,625,373,183.61 miles.

In 2007, Hipparcos data was revised with a new parallax of 10.25000 which put Gamma Canis Minoris at a distance of 318.21 light years or 97.56 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 20,123,054.28 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 7,483.00 Parsecs or 24,406.80 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 Gamma Canis Minoris

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 A380736289,941,464.01
Speed of Sound (Mach 1)767.269278,125,295.71
Concorde (Mach 2)1,534.54139,062,466.61
New Horizons Probe33,0006,466,573.26
Speed of Light670,616,629.00318.21
Gamma Canis Minoris brightness ranges from a magnitude of 4.474 to a magnitude of 4.439 over its variable period. The smaller the magnitude, the brighter the star. Its variable/pulsating period lasts for 0.0 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 Gamma Canis Minoris Facts and Figures

Visual Facts

Primary / Proper / Traditional NameGamma Canis Minoris
Alternative NamesGam Cmi, HD 58972, HIP 36284, HR 2854, 4 Canis Minoris, 4 Cmi, BD+09 1660
Spectral TypeK3III SB
Constellation's Main StarNo
Multiple Star SystemYes
Star TypeGiant Star
ColourOrange to Red
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationCanis Minor
Absolute Magnitude -1.10 / -0.62
Visual / Apparent Magnitude4.33
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)07h 28m 09.83
Declination (Dec.)+08° 55` 31.8
Galactic Latitude12.18299275 degrees
Galactic Longitude209.04827552 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth8.20000 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 397.76 Light Years
 121.95 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth10.25000 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 318.21 Light Years
  97.56 Parsecs
 20,123,054.28 Astronomical Units
Galacto-Centric Distance24,406.80 Light Years / 7,483.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.10.70000 ± 0.28000 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-61.09000 ± 0.47000 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index1.42
Radial Velocity46.80000 ± 0.30 km/s
Iron Abundance-0.2700 ± 9.99 Fe/H
Semi-Major Axis8080.0000000
Stellar Luminosity (Lsun)363.3800000

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts

Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Variable Star Details

Mean Variability Period in Days0.026
Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)4.439 - 4.474

Estimated Calculated Facts

Radius (x the Sun)24.31
Effective Temperature4,126 Kelvin

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
58972+09 1660.0A4.60000-66.000003.00000K0Orange

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