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Psi Phoenicis, HD11695, HIP8837

Psi Phoenicis is a red pulsating giant star that can be located in the constellation of Phoenix. Psi Phoenicis is the brightest star in Phoenix 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.

Psi Phoenicis is the Bayer Classification for the star. 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.

Location of Psi Phoenicis

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 Psi Phoenicis, the location is 01h 53m 38.82 and -46d18`08.8 .

Proper Motion of Psi Phoenicis

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 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and -93.16 ± 0.19 miliarcseconds/year east if we saw them in the horizon.

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 7.0000000 that I have given is based on the Spectral Types page that I have found on the Internet. You might find a different figure, one that may have been calculated rather than generalised that I have done. The figure is always the amount times the luminosity of the Sun. It is an imprecise figure because of a number of factors including but not limited to whether the star is a variable star and distance.

Physical Properties (Colour, Temperature, Radius) of Psi Phoenicis

Psi Phoenicis has a spectral type of M4III SB. This means the star is a red giant star. The star is 7398.00000000 Parsecs from the Galactic Centre or terms of Light Years is 24129.5641891200000000s. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 1.59 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 3,804 Kelvin.

Psi Phoenicis 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. However with the 2007 release of updated Hipparcos files, the radius is now calculated at being round 29.81. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and 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 10.15 which gave the calculated distance to Psi Phoenicis as 321.34 light years away from Earth or 98.52 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 321.34 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 9.54 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.

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*.

Variable Type of Psi Phoenicis

The star is a pulsating Semi-Regular Star which are giants or supergiants of intermediate and late spectral 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.

Psi Phoenicis Facts

Alternative Names

Short Namepsi Phe
Bayer DesignationPsi Phoenicis
Hipparcos Library I.D.8837
Henry Draper Designation11695

Visual Facts

Star Typegiant star
Absolute Magnitude-0.58 / -0.71
Visual / Apparent Magnitude4.39
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)01h 53m 38.82
Declination (Dec.)-46d18`08.8
Galactic Latitude-67.22 degrees
Galactic Longitude274.35 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth10.15 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 321.34 Light Years
 98.52 Parsecs
2007 Revised Distance from Earth9.54 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 341.89 Light Years
 104.82 Parsecs
Galacto-Centric Distance24,129.56 Light Years / 7,398.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.-91.17 ± 0.15 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-93.16 ± 0.19 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index1.59
Radial Velocity2.90 ± 1.50 km/s
Spectral TypeM4III SB
Colour(M) Red

Variable Star Details

Variable Star ClassPulsating
Variable Star TypeSemi-Regular Star which are giants or supergiants of intermediate and late spectral
Mean Variability Period in Days0.113
Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)4.329 - 4.466

Estimated Facts

Luminosity (x the Sun)7.0000000
Calculated Effective Temperature3,804 Kelvin

Sources and Links

SIMBAD SourceLink

Related Stars


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