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Mintaka (Delta Orionis) - HD36486 - HIP25930 - HR1852

Mintaka (Delta Orionis) is a blue eclipsing binary system luminous giant star that can be located in the constellation of Orion. It is the 67th brightest star in the night sky. The star can be seen with the naked eye, that is, you don't need a telescope/binoculars to see it.

Delta Orionis is the Bayer Classification for the star. 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), 34 Orionis , del_Ori, 34 Ori. In Arabic, it is known as Al-Mintaqah. Mintaka is a multiple star system with 2 stars orbiting in its solar system.

Location of Mintaka

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 Mintaka, the location is 05h 32m 00.40 and -00d17`56.7 .

Proper Motion of Mintaka

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 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and 0.64 ± 0.58 miliarcseconds/year east if we saw them in the horizon.

Physical Properties (Colour, Temperature, Radius) of Mintaka

Mintaka has a spectral type of O9.5II. This means the star is a blue luminous giant star. The star is 7690.00000000 Parsecs from the Galactic Centre or terms of Light Years is 25081.9611536000000000s. The star has a B-V Colour Index of -0.17 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 18,485 Kelvin.

Mintaka Radius has been calculated as being 9.06 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 6,306,638.10.km. However with the 2007 release of updated Hipparcos files, the radius is now calculated at being round 6.84. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and has been known to produce widely incorrect figures.

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 3.56 which gave the calculated distance to Mintaka as 916.19 light years away from Earth or 280.90 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 916.19 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 4.71 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.

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*.

Variable Type of Mintaka

The star is a eclipsing binary system 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 2.000 to a magnitude of 2.000 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.

Mintaka Facts

Alternative Names

Traditional/Proper NameMintaka
Short Namedel Ori, 34 Ori
Arabic NameAl-Mintaqah
English MeaningThe belt
Bayer DesignationDelta Orionis
Alternative Name(s)34 Orionis
Hipparcos Library I.D.25930
Yale Bright Star Catalogue (HR) Id1852
Bonner DurchmusterungBDD-00 983
Henry Draper Designation36486

Visual Facts

Star Typeluminous giant star
Absolute Magnitude-4.99 / -4.38
Visual / Apparent Magnitude2.25
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Ref: Wiki
Right Ascension (R.A.)05h 32m 00.40
Declination (Dec.)-00d17`56.7
Galactic Latitude-17.74 degrees
Galactic Longitude203.86 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth3.56 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 916.19 Light Years
 280.90 Parsecs
2007 Revised Distance from Earth4.71 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 692.49 Light Years
 212.31 Parsecs
Galacto-Centric Distance25,081.96 Light Years / 7,690.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.-0.69 ± 0.26 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.0.64 ± 0.58 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index-0.17
Radial Velocity18.50 ± 0.50 km/s
Spectral TypeO9.5II
Brightest in Night Sky67th
Colour(O) blue
Stars in Solar System2

Variable Star Details

Variable Star ClassEclipsing binary system
Variable Star TypeBeta Persei (Algol)

Estimated Facts

Calculated Effective Temperature18,485 Kelvin

Sources and Links

SIMBAD SourceLink

Related Stars

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 (Delta Orionis) Location in Orion

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


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