Universe Guide

Gamma Comae Berenices (15 Comae Berenices) Star Facts

Gamma Comae Berenices Facts

  • Gamma Comae Berenices is a giant star that can be located in the constellation of Coma Berenices. The description is based on the spectral class.
  • Gamma Comae Berenices is a main star of the constellation outline.
  • Based on the spectral type (K2IIICN+...) 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 167.26 light years away from us. Distance

Gamma Comae Berenices's Alternative Names

Gamma Comae Berenices (Gam Com) 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 HR4737. HIP60742 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD108381.

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 15 Comae Berenices. The Flamsteed name can be shortened to 15 Com.

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+29 2288.

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

Location of Gamma Comae Berenices

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 Comae Berenices, the location is 12h 26m 56.33 and +28° 16` 07.0 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of Gamma Comae Berenices

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 -81.13 ± 0.13 milliarcseconds/year towards the north and -83.95 ± 0.19 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 3.38000 km/s with an error of about 0.11 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 Comae Berenices

Gamma Comae Berenices Colour and Temperature

Based on the star's spectral type of K2IIICN+... , Gamma Comae Berenices's colour and type is orange to red giant star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 1.12 which means the star's temperature is about 4,628 Kelvin. The temperature was calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu.

Gamma Comae Berenices 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 65.86 that I have given is based on the value in the Simbad Hipparcos Extended Catalogue at the University of Strasbourg from 2012.

Gamma Comae Berenices Radius

Gamma Comae Berenices estimated radius has been calculated as being 10.24 times bigger than the Sun. The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 7,121,863.87.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 10.048676179368611028958319035. 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 Comae Berenices Iron Abundance

Gamma Comae Berenices Iron Abundance is 0.19 with an error value of 0.02 Fe/H with the Sun has a value of 1 to put it into context. The value comes from the Hipparcos Extended Catalog.

Gamma Comae Berenices Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Gamma Comae Berenices has an apparent magnitude of 4.35 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 0.76 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 0.80. 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 Comae Berenices

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 19.18000 which gave the calculated distance to Gamma Comae Berenices as 170.05 light years away from Earth or 52.14 parsecs. If you want that in miles, it is about 999,660,244,709,872.88, based on 1 Ly = 5,878,625,373,183.61 miles.

In 2007, Hipparcos data was revised with a new parallax of 19.50000 which put Gamma Comae Berenices at a distance of 167.26 light years or 51.28 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 10,577,185.56 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 7,405.00 Parsecs or 24,152.40 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 Comae Berenices

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 A380736152,401,273.60
Speed of Sound (Mach 1)767.269146,190,367.87
Concorde (Mach 2)1,534.5473,095,088.67
New Horizons Probe33,0003,399,010.22
Speed of Light670,616,629.00167.26

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 Comae Berenices Facts and Figures

Visual Facts

Primary / Proper / Traditional NameGamma Comae Berenices
Alternative NamesGam Com, HD 108381, HIP 60742, HR 4737, 15 Comae Berenices, 15 Com, BD+29 2288
Spectral TypeK2IIICN+...
Constellation's Main StarYes
Multiple Star SystemNo / Unknown
Star TypeGiant Star
ColourOrange to Red
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationComa Berenices
Absolute Magnitude 0.76 / 0.80
Visual / Apparent Magnitude4.35
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)12h 26m 56.33
Declination (Dec.)+28° 16` 07.0
Galactic Latitude84.45918086 degrees
Galactic Longitude199.64298381 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth19.18000 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 170.05 Light Years
 52.14 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth19.50000 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 167.26 Light Years
 51.28 Parsecs
 10,577,185.56 Astronomical Units
Galacto-Centric Distance24,152.40 Light Years / 7,405.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.-81.13000 ± 0.13000 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-83.95000 ± 0.19000 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index1.12
Radial Velocity3.38000 ± 0.11 km/s
Iron Abundance0.1900 ± 0.02 Fe/H
Semi-Major Axis6597.0000000
Stellar Luminosity (Lsun)65.8600000

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts

Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Estimated Calculated Facts

Radius (x the Sun)10.05
Effective Temperature4,628 Kelvin

Sources and Links

SIMBAD SourceLink

Location of Gamma Comae Berenices in Coma Berenices

Gamma Comae Berenices Location in Coma Berenices

The map was generated using Night Vision, an awesome free application by Brian Simpson.

Coma Berenices Main Stars

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