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Iota Centauri

Iota Centauri Facts

Iota Centauri's Alternative Names

Iota Centauri (Iot Cen) is the Bayer Classification for the star. The Bayer Classification was created by Johann Bayer in the early nineteenth century. The brightest star in the constellation is normally given the Alpha designation although there are exceptions such as Pollux which is Beta Geminorum.

The Id of the star in the Yale Bright Star Catalogue is HR5028. HIP65109 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD115892. The Gliese ID of the star is GL 508.1. The star was part of the original catalogue devised by German Astronomer Wilheim Gliese of stars located within 20 parsecs of Earth. Star Names

Iota Centauri has alternative name(s) :- Iota CenTau.

The Gould star designation is one that was designed by American astronomer, Benjamin Apthorp Gould. Gould stars are predominantly in the Southern and Equatorial constellations but do appear in northern constellations such as Bootes and Orion. The star has the designation 204 G. Centauri. There are no stars with a Gould designation in Ursa Major for example.

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

Location of Iota Centauri

The location of the main sequence 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 Iota Centauri, the location is 13h 20m 36.07 and -36° 42` 43.5 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of Iota Centauri

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 -86.14 ± 0.10 milliarcseconds/year towards the north and -341.11 ± 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 0.10 km/s with an error of about 0.60 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.

Iota Centauri 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 22.80 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 Iota Centauri

Iota Centauri Colour and Temperature

Iota Centauri has a spectral type of A2V. This means the star is a blue main sequence star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 0.06 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 8,815 Kelvin.

Iota Centauri Radius

Radius has been calculated as being 2.03 times bigger than the Sun. The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 1,409,057.34.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 2.03. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and has been known to produce widely incorrect figures.

Iota Centauri Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Iota Centauri has an apparent magnitude of 2.75 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 1.48 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 1.47. 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 Iota Centauri

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 55.64 which gave the calculated distance to Iota Centauri as 58.62 light years away from Earth or 17.97 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 58.62 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 55.49 which put Iota Centauri at a distance of 58.78 light years or 18.02 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 3,716,865.91 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 7,390.00 Parsecs or 24,103.47 Light Years. The Galacto-Centric Distance is the distance from the star to the Centre of the Galaxy which is Sagittarius A*.

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 Iota Centauri Facts and Figures

Visual Facts


Primary / Proper / Traditional NameIota Centauri
Alternative NamesIot Cen, Iota CenTau, HD 115892, HIP 65109, HR 5028, 204 G. Centauri, Gliese 508.1
Spectral TypeA2V
Constellation's Main StarYes
Multiple Star SystemNo / Unknown
Star Type Main Sequence Dwarf Star
ColourBlue
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationCentaurus
Absolute Magnitude 1.48 / 1.47
Visual / Apparent Magnitude2.75
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)13h 20m 36.07
Declination (Dec.)-36° 42` 43.5
Galactic Latitude25.79 degrees
Galactic Longitude309.42 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth55.64 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 58.62 Light Years
 17.97 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth55.49 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 58.78 Light Years
 18.02 Parsecs
 3,716,865.91 Astronomical Units
Galacto-Centric Distance24,103.47 Light Years / 7,390.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.-86.14 ± 0.10 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-341.11 ± 0.17 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index0.06
Radial Velocity0.10 ± 0.60 km/s
Eccentricity0.06
Semi-Major Axis7006.00
Stellar Luminosity (Lsun)22.80

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts


Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Estimated Calculated Facts


Radius (x the Sun)2.03
Effective Temperature8,815 Kelvin

Sources and Links


SIMBAD SourceLink

Centaurus Main Stars


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