Universe Guide

Girtab (Kappa Scorpii) Star Facts

Girtab Facts

  • Girtab is a pulsating giant star that can be located in the constellation of Scorpius. The description is based on the spectral class.
  • Girtab is a main star of the constellation outline.
  • Based on the spectral type (B1.5III) of the star, the star's colour is blue .
  • Girtab is the 82nd brightest star in the night sky and the 6th brightest star in Scorpius based on the Hipparcos 2007 apparent magnitude. 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 483.20 light years away from us. Distance

Information on Girtab

Girtab is a binary multiple star system. The main star is a Cepheid variable star which means in short that it pulsates, enlarging and shrinking due to internal stresses and forces. The primary star is about 7 times the raidus of the sun and has around about 17 times the mass of the Sun. The second star is about six times as big as the radius of the Sun and only about 12 times the mass. The beta star is still pretty big compared to the Sun. The smaller star orbits the larger one about every 196 days, just a bit over the same length of time Earth rotates round the Sun. The larger of the two stars has used by its hydrogren supply and is moving to the next stge of its evolutionary life cycle.1

Girtab's Alternative Names

Kappa Scorpii (Kap Sco) 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 HR6580. HIP86670 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD160578.

Girtab has alternative name(s) :- , kap Sco.

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

Location of Girtab

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 Girtab, the location is 17h 42m 29.28 and -39° 01` 47.7 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of Girtab

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 -25.54 ± 0.12 milliarcseconds/year towards the north and -6.05 ± 0.17 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 -14.00000 km/s with an error of about 2.80 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.

Physical Properties of Girtab

Girtab Temperature and Colour

Based on the star's spectral type of B1.5III , Girtab's colour and type is blue giant star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of -0.17 which means the star's temperature is about 14,786 Kelvin. The temperature was calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu.

Girtab 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 6,910.85 that I have given is based on the value in the Simbad Hipparcos Extended Catalogue at the University of Strasbourg from 2012.

Girtab Radius

Girtab estimated radius has been calculated as being 6.75 times bigger than the Sun. The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 4,695,908.32.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 7.0022235338344622295484841515. 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.

Girtab Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Girtab has an apparent magnitude of 2.39 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 -3.38 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of -3.46. 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 Girtab

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 7.03000 which gave the calculated distance to Girtab as 463.96 light years away from Earth or 142.25 parsecs. If you want that in miles, it is about 2,727,447,028,142,267.70, based on 1 Ly = 5,878,625,373,183.61 miles.

In 2007, Hipparcos data was revised with a new parallax of 6.75000 which put Girtab at a distance of 483.20 light years or 148.15 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 30,557,918.11 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 7,254.00 Parsecs or 23,659.89 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 Girtab

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 A380736440,274,395.56
Speed of Sound (Mach 1)767.269422,331,613.99
Concorde (Mach 2)1,534.54211,165,531.78
New Horizons Probe33,0009,819,453.19
Speed of Light670,616,629.00483.20

Variable Type of Girtab

The star is a pulsating Beta Cephei 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. Girtab brightness ranges from a magnitude of 2.319 to a magnitude of 2.312 over its variable period. The smaller the magnitude, the brighter the star. Its variable/pulsating period lasts for 0.2 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 Girtab Facts and Figures

Visual Facts

Primary / Proper / Traditional NameGirtab
Alternative NamesKappa Scorpii, Kap Sco, HD 160578, HIP 86670, HR 6580, kap Sco
Spectral TypeB1.5III
Constellation's Main StarYes
Multiple Star SystemNo / Unknown
Star TypeGiant Star
GalaxyMilky Way
Absolute Magnitude -3.38 / -3.46
Visual / Apparent Magnitude2.39
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)17h 42m 29.28
Declination (Dec.)-39° 01` 47.7
Galactic Latitude-4.71921644 degrees
Galactic Longitude351.04380352 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth7.03000 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 463.96 Light Years
 142.25 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth6.75000 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 483.20 Light Years
 148.15 Parsecs
 30,557,918.11 Astronomical Units
Galacto-Centric Distance23,659.89 Light Years / 7,254.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.-25.54000 ± 0.12000 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-6.05000 ± 0.17000 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index-0.17
Radial Velocity-14.00000 ± 2.80 km/s
Semi-Major Axis7085.0000000
Stellar Luminosity (Lsun)6910.8500000
Brightest in Night Sky82nd

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts

Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Variable Star Details

Variable Star ClassPulsating
Variable Star TypeBeta Cephei
Mean Variability Period in Days0.202
Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)2.312 - 2.319

Estimated Calculated Facts

Radius (x the Sun)7.00
Effective Temperature14,786 Kelvin

Sources and Links

SIMBAD SourceLink

Location of Girtab in Scorpius

Girtab Location in Scorpius

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

Scorpius Main Stars

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