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Gamma Mensae

Gamma Mensae Facts

Gamma Mensae's Alternative Names

Gamma Mensae (Gam Men) 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 HR1953. HIP25918 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD37763.

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

Location of Gamma Mensae

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 Mensae, the location is 05h 31m 52.66 and -76° 20` 30.0 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of Gamma Mensae

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 286.85 ± 0.63 milliarcseconds/year towards the north and 142.50 ± 0.81 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 56.70 km/s with an error of about 0.80 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.

Gamma Mensae 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 11.57 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 Gamma Mensae

Gamma Mensae Colour and Temperature

Gamma Mensae has a spectral type of K4III. This means the star is a orange to red giant star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 1.13 which means the star's temperature is about 4,611 Kelvin. The temperature was calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being .

Gamma Mensae Radius

Radius has been calculated as being 4.16 times bigger than the Sun. The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 2,895,814.80.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 4.22. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and has been known to produce widely incorrect figures. The star's Iron Abundance is 0.27 with an error value of 0.07 Fe/H with the Sun has a value of 1 to put it into context.

Gamma Mensae Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Gamma Mensae 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 2.73 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 2.70. 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 Mensae

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 32.43 which gave the calculated distance to Gamma Mensae as 100.57 light years away from Earth or 30.84 parsecs. If you want that in miles, it is 67,443,914,379.

In 2007, Hipparcos data was revised with a new parallax of 31.89 which put Gamma Mensae at a distance of 102.28 light years or 31.36 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 6,468,419.25 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 7,392.00 Parsecs or 24,109.99 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 Mensae

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)
Walking417,147,667,203.53
Car120571,588,906.78
Airbus A38073693,193,843.50
Speed of Sound (Mach 1)767.26989,395,855.71
Concorde (Mach 2)1,534.5444,697,869.60
New Horizons Probe33,0002,078,505.12
Speed of Light670,616,629.00102.28

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 Mensae Facts and Figures

Visual Facts


Primary / Proper / Traditional NameGamma Mensae
Alternative NamesGam Men, HD 37763, HIP 25918, HR 1953
Spectral TypeK4III
Constellation's Main StarYes
Multiple Star SystemYes
Star TypeGiant Star
ColourOrange to Red
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationMensa
Absolute Magnitude 2.73 / 2.70
Visual / Apparent Magnitude5.18
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)05h 31m 52.66
Declination (Dec.)-76° 20` 30.0
Galactic Latitude-30.97 degrees
Galactic Longitude287.92 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth32.43 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 100.57 Light Years
 30.84 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth31.89 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 102.28 Light Years
 31.36 Parsecs
 6,468,419.25 Astronomical Units
Galacto-Centric Distance24,109.99 Light Years / 7,392.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.286.85 ± 0.63 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.142.50 ± 0.81 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index1.13
Radial Velocity56.70 ± 0.80 km/s
Iron Abundance0.27 ± 0.07 Fe/H
Eccentricity0.41
Semi-Major Axis4806.00
Stellar Luminosity (Lsun)11.57

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts


Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Estimated Calculated Facts


Radius (x the Sun)4.22
Effective Temperature4,611 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
37763-76 333.4A5.10000112.00000285.00000K0Orange
B11.100001918

Location of Gamma Mensae in Mensa


Gamma Mensae Location in Mensa

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

Mensa Main Stars


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