Universe Guide


Methuselah Star - HD140283 - HIP76976

Methuselah Star is a star that can be located in the constellation of Libra. HIP76976 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD140283.

Methuselah star is one of the more intriguing stars in our galaxy, the milky way and can be located in the constellation Libra. What makes this most interesting is that it has been calculated to be older than than the age of the universe. The generally accepted view of the universe`s age is that it is about 13.7/8 billion years old. N.A.S.A had calculated the star to be around 14.5 billion years of age. However, previous estimates had put the star at being 16 billion years old, still much older than the star of the universe.

It is believed to have been born in another Galaxy which was cannabalised/merged with our own galaxy. It is also moving at a phenomenal speed, 800,000 miles which lends weight to the fact it came from another galaxy. It will take 1,500 years to move across an area of the night sky the width of the moon. The picture below shows the rough location of the star within the constellation. If you look at the star,it will appear as a red giant in its early stages.Ref: Space

Methuselah gets its name from the biblical character Methuselah who according to the bible lived for 969 years according to Genesis. It seemed appropriate to reference the character when they needed a name for the star. Ref: ThoughtCo

Location of Methuselah Star

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 Methuselah Star, the location is 15h 43m 03.76 and -10d55`57.9 .

Proper Motion of Methuselah Star

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 -304.36 ± 000.46 towards the north and -1,114.93 ± 000.68 east if we saw them in the horizon.

Physical Properties (Temperature, Radius) of Methuselah Star

Methuselah Star has a spectral type of sdF3. This means the star is a star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 0.48 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 6,166 Kelvin.

Methuselah Star has been calculated as 1.70 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 1,183,988.03.km.

Methuselah Star Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Methuselah Star has an apparent magnitude of 7.20 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 3.41 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 3.37. 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 Methuselah Star

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 17.44 which gave the calculated distance to Methuselah Star as 187.02 light years away from Earth or 57.34 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 187.02 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 17.16 which put Methuselah Star at a distance of 190.07 light years or 58.28 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.

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 Stellar Age, Metallicity or Mass is from the E.U. Exoplanets. The information was obtained as of 12th Feb 2017.

Methuselah Star Facts

Alternative Names

Traditional NameMethuselah Star
Hipparcos Library I.D.76976
Bonner DurchmusterungBD-10 4149
Henry Draper Designation140283

Visual Facts

Star Type star
Absolute Magnitude3.41 / 3.37
Apparent Magnitude7.20
Right Ascension (R.A.)15h 43m 03.76
Declination (Dec.)-10d55`57.9
1997 Distance from Earth17.44 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 187.02 Light Years
 57.34 Parsecs
2007 Revised Distance from Earth17.16 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 190.07 Light Years
 58.28 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.-304.36 ± 0.46 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-1114.93 ± 0.68 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index0.48
Spectral TypesdF3

Estimated Facts

Radius (x the Sun)1.70
Calculated Effective Temperature6,166 Kelvin

Sources and Links

SIMBAD SourceLink

Related Stars

Location of Methuselah Star in Libra

Methuselah Star Location in Libra

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

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