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Red Rectangle Nebula, HD44179, HIP30089

Red Rectangle Nebula is a blue eruptive variable star that can be located in the constellation of Monoceros. The description is based on the spectral class. The star can not be seen by the naked eye, you need a telescope to see it.

Red Rectangle Nebula's Alternative Names

HIP30089 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD44179.

Red Rectangle Nebula has alternative name(s) :- , NSV 02919.

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-10 1476.

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

Location of Red Rectangle Nebula

The location of the 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 star is compared to the celestial equator and is expressed in degrees. For Red Rectangle Nebula, the location is 06h 19m 58.22 and -10° 38` 14.5 .

Proper Motion of Red Rectangle Nebula

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 -22.74 ± 1.46 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and -6.46 ± 2.28 miliarcseconds/year east if we saw them in the horizon. The Radial Velocity, that is the speed at which the star is moving away/towards us is 21.50000 km/s with an error of about 999.00 km/s .

Physical Properties (Colour, Temperature) of Red Rectangle Nebula

Red Rectangle Nebula has a spectral type of B8. This means the star is a blue variable star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 0.34 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 6,614 Kelvin.

Red Rectangle Nebula Radius has been calculated as being 4.61 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 3,209,594.90.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 5.32. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and has been known to produce widely incorrect figures. The star's Iron Abundance is -3.50 with an error value of 9.99 Fe/H with the Sun has a value of 1 to put it into context.

Red Rectangle Nebula Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Red Rectangle Nebula has an apparent magnitude of 8.85 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 0.94 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 0.63. 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 Red Rectangle Nebula

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 2.62 which gave the calculated distance to Red Rectangle Nebula as 1244.90 light years away from Earth or 381.68 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 1244.90 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 2.27 which put Red Rectangle Nebula at a distance of 1436.84 light years or 440.53 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.

Variable Type of Red Rectangle Nebula

The star is a eruptive Irregular 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. This is a some uncertainty as to the type but the type mentioned is the current variable star classification for this star. Red Rectangle Nebula brightness ranges from a magnitude of 8.998 to a magnitude of 8.871 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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Red Rectangle Nebula Facts

Visual Facts


 Red Rectangle Nebula
Alternative NamesHD 44179, HIP 30089, BD-10 1476, NSV 02919
Spectral TypeB8
Multiple Star SystemYes
Star TypeVariable Star
Colour blue
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationMonoceros
Absolute Magnitude0.94 / 0.63
Visual / Apparent Magnitude8.85
Naked Eye VisibleRequires a 7x50 Binoculars - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)06h 19m 58.22
Declination (Dec.)-10° 38` 14.5
Galactic Latitude-11.76 degrees
Galactic Longitude218.97 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth2.62 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 1244.90 Light Years
 381.68 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth2.27 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 1436.84 Light Years
 440.53 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.-22.74 ± 1.46 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-6.46 ± 2.28 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index0.34
Radial Velocity21.50 ± 999.00 km/s
Iron Abundance-3.50 ± 9.99 Fe/H

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts


Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Variable Star Details


Variable Star ClassEruptive
Variable Star TypeIrregular probably
Mean Variability Period in Days0.091
Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)8.871 - 8.998

Estimated Facts


Calculated Effective Temperature6,614 Kelvin

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
44179-10 1476.0A9.30000-13.00000-42.00000B8Blue/White
B9.300001915

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