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Psi Phoenicis

Psi Phoenicis Facts

  • Psi Phoenicis is a pulsating giant star that can be located in the constellation of Phoenix. The description is based on the spectral class.
  • Psi Phoenicis is a main star of the constellation outline.
  • Based on the spectral type (M4III SB) of the star, the star's colour is red .
  • The star can be seen with the naked eye, that is, you don't need a telescope/binoculars to see it.
  • Using the most recent figures given by the 2007 Hipparcos data, the star is 341.89 light years away from us. Distance

Psi Phoenicis's Alternative Names

Psi Phoenicis (Psi Phe) 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 HR555. HIP8837 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD11695.

Psi Phoenicis has alternative name(s) :- , psi Phe.

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

Location of Psi Phoenicis

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 Psi Phoenicis, the location is 01h 53m 38.82 and -46° 18` 08.8 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of Psi Phoenicis

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 -91.17 ± 0.15 milliarcseconds/year towards the north and -93.16 ± 0.19 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 2.90000 km/s with an error of about 1.50 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 Psi Phoenicis

Psi Phoenicis Temperature and Colour

Based on the star's spectral type of M4III SB , Psi Phoenicis's colour and type is red giant star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 1.59 which means the star's temperature is about 3,804 Kelvin. The temperature was calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu.

Psi Phoenicis 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 646.98 that I have given is based on the value in the Simbad Hipparcos Extended Catalogue at the University of Strasbourg from 2012.

Psi Phoenicis Radius

Psi Phoenicis estimated radius has been calculated as being 28.08 times bigger than the Sun. The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 19,539,457.78.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 29.814625579674036794676969392. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS rather than peer reviewed papers. It has been known to produce widely incorrect figures.

Psi Phoenicis Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Psi Phoenicis has an apparent magnitude of 4.39 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 -0.58 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of -0.71. 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 Psi Phoenicis

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 10.15000 which gave the calculated distance to Psi Phoenicis as 321.34 light years away from Earth or 98.52 parsecs. If you want that in miles, it is about 1,889,037,477,418,821.24, based on 1 Ly = 5,878,625,373,183.61 miles.

In 2007, Hipparcos data was revised with a new parallax of 9.54000 which put Psi Phoenicis at a distance of 341.89 light years or 104.82 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 21,620,526.34 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 7,398.00 Parsecs or 24,129.56 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 Psi Phoenicis

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)
Walking457,319,279,822.20
Car1201,910,642,660.74
Airbus A380736311,517,825.12
Speed of Sound (Mach 1)767.269298,822,341.69
Concorde (Mach 2)1,534.54149,410,976.12
New Horizons Probe33,0006,947,791.49
Speed of Light670,616,629.00341.89

Variable Type of Psi Phoenicis

The star is a pulsating Semi-Regular Star w 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. Psi Phoenicis brightness ranges from a magnitude of 4.466 to a magnitude of 4.329 over its variable period. The smaller the magnitude, the brighter the star. Its variable/pulsating period lasts for 0.1 days (variability).

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 Psi Phoenicis Facts and Figures

Visual Facts


Primary / Proper / Traditional NamePsi Phoenicis
Alternative NamesPsi Phe, HD 11695, HIP 8837, HR 555, psi Phe
Spectral TypeM4III SB
Constellation's Main StarYes
Multiple Star SystemNo / Unknown
Star TypeGiant Star
ColourRed
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationPhoenix
Absolute Magnitude -0.58 / -0.71
Visual / Apparent Magnitude4.39
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)01h 53m 38.82
Declination (Dec.)-46° 18` 08.8
Galactic Latitude-67.22208270 degrees
Galactic Longitude274.34897315 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth10.15000 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 321.34 Light Years
 98.52 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth9.54000 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 341.89 Light Years
 104.82 Parsecs
 21,620,526.34 Astronomical Units
Galacto-Centric Distance24,129.56 Light Years / 7,398.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.-91.17000 ± 0.15000 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-93.16000 ± 0.19000 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index1.59
Radial Velocity2.90000 ± 1.50 km/s
Eccentricity0.41560
Semi-Major Axis9044.0000000
Stellar Luminosity (Lsun)646.9800000

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts


Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Variable Star Details


Variable Star ClassPulsating
Variable Star TypeSemi-Regular Star w
Mean Variability Period in Days0.113
Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)4.329 - 4.466

Estimated Calculated Facts


Radius (x the Sun)29.81
Effective Temperature3,804 Kelvin

Sources and Links


SIMBAD SourceLink

Phoenix Main Stars


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