Universe Guide

Hamal (Alpha Arietis, 13 Arietis) Star Facts

Hamal Facts

  • Hamal is a giant star that can be located in the constellation of Aries. The description is based on the spectral class.
  • Hamal is a main star of the constellation outline.
  • Based on the spectral type (K2III) of the star, the star's colour is orange to red .
  • Hamal is the 49th brightest star in the night sky and is the brightest star in Aries 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.
  • It is calculated at being 3.400 Billion Years old. This information comes from ExoPlanet.
  • Hamal has at least 1 Extrasolar Planets believed to be in orbit around the star.
  • Hamal has a radius that is 14.90 times bigger than the Suns. Radius
  • Using the most recent figures given by the 2007 Hipparcos data, the star is 65.81 light years away from us. Distance

Hamal's Alternative Names

Alpha Arietis (Alf Ari) 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 HR617. HIP9884 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD12929. The Gliese ID of the star is GL 84.3. The star was part of the original catalogue devised by German Astronomer Wilheim Gliese of stars located within 20 parsecs of Earth. Star Names

Hamal has alternative name(s) :- , Alf Ari. In Arabic, it is known as Al-Hamal.

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 13 Arietis. The Flamsteed name can be shortened to 13 Ari.

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+22 306.

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

Location of Hamal

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 Hamal, the location is 02h 07m 10.29 and +23° 27` 46.0 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of Hamal

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 -148.08 ± 0.14 milliarcseconds/year towards the north and 188.55 ± 0.25 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 -14.64000 km/s with an error of about 0.02 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 Hamal

Hamal Colour and Temperature

Based on the star's spectral type of K2III , Hamal's colour and type is orange to red giant star. The star's effective temperature is 4,480 Kelvin which is cooler than our own Sun's effective Temperature which is 5,777 Kelvin

Hamal 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 90.89 that I have given is based on the value in the Simbad Hipparcos Extended Catalogue at the University of Strasbourg from 2012.

Hamal Radius

Hamal Radius has been calculated as being 14.90 times bigger than the Sun. The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 10,367,420.00.km. If you need the diameter of the star, you just need to multiple the radius by 2.

Hamal Mass

The Hamal's solar mass is 1.50 times that of our star, the Sun. The Sun's Mass is 1,989,100,000,000,000,000,000 billion kg. which to calculate using this website is too large. To give idea of size, the Sun is 99.86% the mass of the solar system.

Hamal Metalicity

The star's metallicity is -0.090000, this value is the fractional amount of the star that is not Hydrogen (X) or Helium (Y). An older star would have a high metallicity whereas a new star would have a lower one.

Hamal Estimated Age

The star is believed to be about 3.40 Billion years old. To put in context, the Sun is believed to be about five billion years old and the Universe is about 13.8 billion years old.

Hamal Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Hamal has an apparent magnitude of 2.01 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 0.48 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 0.49. 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 Hamal

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 49.48000 which gave the calculated distance to Hamal as 65.92 light years away from Earth or 20.21 parsecs. If you want that in miles, it is about 387,518,984,600,263.57, based on 1 Ly = 5,878,625,373,183.61 miles.

In 2007, Hipparcos data was revised with a new parallax of 49.56000 which put Hamal at a distance of 65.81 light years or 20.18 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 4,162,394.79 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 7,413.00 Parsecs or 24,178.49 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 Hamal

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 A38073659,963,696.13
Speed of Sound (Mach 1)767.26957,519,957.61
Concorde (Mach 2)1,534.5428,759,941.32
New Horizons Probe33,0001,337,372.13
Speed of Light670,616,629.0065.81

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.

Hide Explanations
Show GridLines

Additional Hamal Facts and Figures

Visual Facts

Primary / Proper / Traditional NameHamal
Alternative NamesAlpha Arietis, Alf Ari, Al-Hamal, HD 12929, HIP 9884, HR 617, 13 Arietis, 13 Ari, BD+22 306, Gliese 84.3, Alf Ari
Spectral TypeK2III
Constellation's Main StarYes
Multiple Star SystemNo / Unknown
Star TypeGiant Star
ColourOrange to Red
GalaxyMilky Way
Age3.40 Billion Years Old
Absolute Magnitude 0.48 / 0.49
Visual / Apparent Magnitude2.01
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)02h 07m 10.29
Declination (Dec.)+23° 27` 46.0
Galactic Latitude-36.20536747 degrees
Galactic Longitude144.57771590 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth49.48000 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 65.92 Light Years
 20.21 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth49.56000 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 65.81 Light Years
 20.18 Parsecs
 4,162,394.79 Astronomical Units
Galacto-Centric Distance24,178.49 Light Years / 7,413.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.-148.08000 ± 0.14000 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.188.55000 ± 0.25000 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index1.15
Radial Velocity-14.64000 ± 0.02 km/s
Iron Abundance-0.1700 ± 9.99 Fe/H
Semi-Major Axis6648.0000000
Stellar Luminosity (Lsun)90.8900000
Brightest in Night Sky49th

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts

Exoplanet Count1

Estimated Calculated Facts

Radius (x the Sun)14.90
Effective Temperature4,576 Kelvin
Mass Compared to the Sun1.50

Sources and Links

SIMBAD SourceLink

Location of Hamal in Aries

Hamal Location in Aries

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

List of Extrasolar Planets orbiting Hamal

NameStatusMass (Jupiters)Orbital Period (Days)EccentricityDiscoveredSemi-Major AxisPeriastron
alf Ari bConfirmed0.2380.8000.2520111.289.160

Aries Main Stars

Hamal Solar System

This is a N.A.S.A. impression of what the solar system might look like. If the star is not on display, its because its so small compared to the orbits of the outer planets. The green area denotes the habital zone which if the planet is within that area, life could exist. The habital zone might not appear on the picture because its outside the area for the picture. Our planets show the orbit of the planet if its was in our solar system. For more information about the planet and other exoplanetary stuff, visit N.A.S.A.

Hamal Solar System

Comments and Questions

There's no register feature and no need to give an email address if you don't need to. All messages will be reviewed before being displayed. Comments may be merged or altered slightly such as if an email address is given in the main body of the comment.

You can decline to give a name which if that is the case, the comment will be attributed to a random star. A name is preferred even if its a random made up one by yourself.

This website is using cookies. More info. That's Fine