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Mintaka (Delta Orionis, 34 Orionis) Star Facts

Mintaka Facts

  • Mintaka is a eclipsing binary sys luminous giant star that can be located in the constellation of Orion. The description is based on the spectral class.
  • Mintaka is a main star of the constellation outline.
  • Based on the spectral type (O9.5II) of the star, the star's colour is blue - white.
  • Mintaka is the 66th brightest star in the night sky and the 7th brightest star in Orion 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.
  • Mintaka has a radius that is 16.50 times bigger than the Suns. Radius
  • Using the most recent figures given by the 2007 Hipparcos data, the star is 692.49 light years away from us. Distance

Mintaka's Alternative Names

Delta Orionis (Del Ori) 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 HR1852. HIP25930 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD36486.

Mintaka has alternative name(s) :- , del Ori. In Arabic, it is known as Al-Mintaqah.

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 34 Orionis. The Flamsteed name can be shortened to 34 Ori.

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-00 983.

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

Location of Mintaka

The location of the luminous 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 Mintaka, the location is 05h 32m 00.40 and -00° 17` 56.7 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of Mintaka

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 -0.69 ± 0.26 milliarcseconds/year towards the north and 0.64 ± 0.58 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 18.50000 km/s with an error of about 0.50 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 Mintaka

Mintaka Colour and Temperature

Based on the star's spectral type of O9.5II , Mintaka's colour and type is blue - white luminous giant star. The star's effective temperature is 29,500 Kelvin which is hotter than our own Sun's effective Temperature which is 5,777 Kelvin.

Mintaka 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 39,340.14 that I have given is based on the value in the Simbad Hipparcos Extended Catalogue at the University of Strasbourg from 2012.

Mintaka Radius

Mintaka Radius has been calculated as being 16.50 times bigger than the Sun. The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 11,480,700.00.km. If you need the diameter of the star, you just need to multiple the radius by 2.

Mintaka Mass

The Mintaka's solar mass is 24.00 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.

Mintaka Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Mintaka has an apparent magnitude of 2.25 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 -4.99 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of -4.38. 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 Mintaka

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 3.56000 which gave the calculated distance to Mintaka as 916.19 light years away from Earth or 280.90 parsecs. If you want that in miles, it is about 5,385,937,780,657,091.65, based on 1 Ly = 5,878,625,373,183.61 miles.

In 2007, Hipparcos data was revised with a new parallax of 4.71000 which put Mintaka at a distance of 692.49 light years or 212.31 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 43,791,775.87 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 7,690.00 Parsecs or 25,081.96 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 Mintaka

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)
Walking4116,098,827,354.05
Car1203,869,960,911.80
Airbus A380736630,971,887.79
Speed of Sound (Mach 1)767.269605,257,490.42
Concorde (Mach 2)1,534.54302,628,350.79
New Horizons Probe33,00014,072,585.13
Speed of Light670,616,629.00692.49

Variable Type of Mintaka

The star is a eclipsing binary sys Beta Persei (Algol) 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. Mintaka brightness ranges from a magnitude of 2.230 to a magnitude of 2.120 over its variable period. The smaller the magnitude, the brighter the star.

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 Mintaka Facts and Figures

Visual Facts


Primary / Proper / Traditional NameMintaka
Alternative NamesDelta Orionis, Del Ori, Al-Mintaqah, HD 36486, HIP 25930, HR 1852, 34 Orionis, 34 Ori, BD-00 983, del Ori
Spectral TypeO9.5II
Constellation's Main StarYes
Multiple Star SystemYes
Star TypeLuminous Giant Star
ColourBlue
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationOrion
Absolute Magnitude -4.99 / -4.38
Visual / Apparent Magnitude2.25
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)05h 32m 00.40
Declination (Dec.)-00° 17` 56.7
Galactic Latitude-17.73973679 degrees
Galactic Longitude203.85591431 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth3.56000 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 916.19 Light Years
 280.90 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth4.71000 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 692.49 Light Years
 212.31 Parsecs
 43,791,775.87 Astronomical Units
Galacto-Centric Distance25,081.96 Light Years / 7,690.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.-0.69000 ± 0.26000 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.0.64000 ± 0.58000 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index-0.17
Radial Velocity18.50000 ± 0.50 km/s
Eccentricity0.10100
Semi-Major Axis8507.0000000
Stellar Luminosity (Lsun)39340.1400000
Brightest in Night Sky66th

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts


Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Variable Star Details


Variable Star ClassEclipsing binary sys
Variable Star TypeBeta Persei (Algol)
Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)2.120 - 2.230

Estimated Calculated Facts


Radius (x the Sun)16.50
Effective Temperature18,485 Kelvin
Mass Compared to the Sun24.00

Sources and Links


SIMBAD SourceLink

Multi-Star System

The star has been identified as being a multi-star system, one in which there is at least one star in close orbit to another star or two or more stars orbiting a central point. The stars may be of equal mass, unequal mass where one star is stronger than the other or be in groups orbiting a central point which doesn't necessarily have to be a star. More information can be found on my dedicated multiple star systems page. The source of the info is Simbad. The file is dated 2000 so any differences between this and any other source will be down to the actual source from where the information came from.


Proper Motion mas/yr
H.D. IdB.D. IdStar CodeMagnitudeR.A.Dec.SpectrumColourYear
36486-00 983.0A2.50000-3.00000-1.00000B0Blue/White
B14.000001878
36485-00 982.0C6.600006.00000-3.00000B0Blue/White1781

Location of Mintaka in Orion


Mintaka Location in Orion

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

Orion Main Stars


Comments and Questions

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Mohit JoshiSunday, 15th September 2019 12:50:51 AM
What is the exact number of stars in Mintaka star sysyem. Some says 4, some says 5. Other than Mintaka, how many others are there in Mintaka star systems and what are their names and how much away are they from Mintaka?
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