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GX Velorum, HD79186, HIP45085

GX Velorum is a blue pulsating very luminous supergiant star that can be located in the constellation of Vela. GX Velorum is the brightest star in Vela 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.

HIP45085 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD79186.

GX Velorum has alternative name(s), GX Vel.

Location of GX Velorum

The location of the star in the galaxy 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 star is compared to the celestial equator and is expressed in degrees. For GX Velorum, the location is 09h 11m 04.40 and -44d52`04.5 .

Proper Motion of GX Velorum

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 4.75 ± 0.21 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and -4.92 ± 0.29 miliarcseconds/year east if we saw them in the horizon.

GX Velorum 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 140000.0000000 that I have given is based on the Spectral Types page that I have found on the Internet. You might find a different figure, one that may have been calculated rather than generalised that I have done. The figure is always the amount times the luminosity of the Sun. It is an imprecise figure because of a number of factors including but not limited to whether the star is a variable star and distance.

Physical Properties (Colour, Temperature, Radius) of GX Velorum

GX Velorum has a spectral type of B5Ia. This means the star is a blue supergiant star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 0.22 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 7,253 Kelvin. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and has been known to produce widely incorrect figures.

GX Velorum Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

GX Velorum has an apparent magnitude of 4.99 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 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of -5.82. 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 GX Velorum

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as -0.26 which gave the calculated distance to GX Velorum as -12544.74 light years away from Earth or -3846.15 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, -12544.74 years to get there. We don't have the technology or spaceship that can carry people over that distance yet.

In 2007, Hipparcos data was revised with a new parallax of 0.69 which put GX Velorum at a distance of 4727.00 light years or 1449.28 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.

Variable Type of GX Velorum

The star is a pulsating Alpha Cygnus 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. GX Velorum brightness ranges from a magnitude of 5.101 to a magnitude of 5.015 over its variable period. The smaller the magnitude, the brighter the star. Its variable/pulsating period lasts for 0.1 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.

GX Velorum Facts

Alternative Names

Traditional/Proper NameGX Velorum
Short NameGX Vel
Hipparcos Library I.D.45085
Henry Draper Designation79186

Visual Facts

Star Typesupergiant star
Visual / Apparent Magnitude4.99
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)09h 11m 04.40
Declination (Dec.)-44d52`04.5
Galactic Latitude2.25 degrees
Galactic Longitude267.36 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth-0.26 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 -12544.74 Light Years
 -3846.15 Parsecs
2007 Revised Distance from Earth0.69 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 4727.00 Light Years
 1449.28 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.4.75 ± 0.21 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-4.92 ± 0.29 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index0.22
Radial Velocity28.20 ± 0.80 km/s
Spectral TypeB5Ia
Colour(B) blue

Variable Star Details

Variable Star ClassPulsating
Variable Star TypeAlpha Cygnus
Mean Variability Period in Days0.058
Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)5.015 - 5.101

Estimated Facts

Luminosity (x the Sun)140,000.0000000
Calculated Effective Temperature7,253 Kelvin

Sources and Links

SIMBAD SourceLink

Related Stars


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