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Rho Ceti (72 Ceti)

Rho Ceti Facts

Rho Ceti's Alternative Names

Rho Ceti (Rho Cet) is the Bayer Classification for the star. The Id of the star in the Yale Bright Star Catalogue is HR708. HIP11345 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD15130.

Flamsteed designations are named after the creator, Sir John Flamsteed. Sir John numbered the stars in the constellation with a number and the latin name, this star's Flamsteed designation is 72 Ceti with it shortened to 72 Cet.

The Gould star designation is one that was designed by American astronomer, Benjamin Apthorp Gould. Gould stars are predominantly in the Southern and Equatorial constellations but do appear in northern constellations such as Bootes and Orion. The star has the designation 247 G. Ceti. There are no stars with a Gould designation in Ursa Major for example.

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-12 451.

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

Location of Rho Ceti

The location of the main sequence 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 Rho Ceti, the location is 02h 25m 57.01 and -12° 17` 25.6 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of Rho Ceti

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 -9.48 ± 0.18 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and -11.28 ± 0.26 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 the Sun is 18.90 km/s with an error of about 2.00 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.

Rho Ceti 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 234.86 that I have given is based on the value in the Simbad Hipparcos Extended Catalogue at the University of Strasbourg from 2012.

Physical Properties (Colour, Temperature) of Rho Ceti

Rho Ceti has a spectral type of A0V. This means the star is a blue main sequence star. The star is 7,463.00 Parsecs from the Galactic Centre or in terms of Light Years is 24,341.57 s. The star has a B-V Colour Index of -0.02 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 9,839 Kelvin.

Rho Ceti Radius has been calculated as being 5.51 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 3,832,634.42.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 4.75. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and has been known to produce widely incorrect figures.

Rho Ceti Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Rho Ceti has an apparent magnitude of 4.88 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 -1.17 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of -0.85. 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 Rho Ceti

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 6.17 which gave the calculated distance to Rho Ceti as 528.63 light years away from Earth or 162.07 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 528.63 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 7.15 which put Rho Ceti at a distance of 456.17 light years or 139.86 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 28,847,994.79 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 7,463.00 Parsecs or 24,341.57 Light Years. The Galacto-Centric Distance is the distance from the star to the Centre of the Galaxy which is Sagittarius A*.

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 Rho Ceti Facts and Figures

Visual Facts


Primary / Proper / Traditional NameRho Ceti
Alternative NamesRho Cet, HD 15130, HIP 11345, HR 708, 247 G. Ceti, 72 Ceti, 72 Cet, BD-12 451
Spectral TypeA0V
Constellation's Main StarNo
Multiple Star SystemNo / Unknown
Star Type main sequence Dwarf Star
ColourBlue
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationCetus
Absolute Magnitude -1.17 / -0.85
Visual / Apparent Magnitude4.88
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)02h 25m 57.01
Declination (Dec.)-12° 17` 25.6
Galactic Latitude-63.35 degrees
Galactic Longitude183.75 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth6.17 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 528.63 Light Years
 162.07 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth7.15 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 456.17 Light Years
 139.86 Parsecs
 28,847,994.79 Astronomical Units
Galacto-Centric Distance24,341.57 Light Years / 7,463.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.-9.48 ± 0.18 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-11.28 ± 0.26 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index-0.02
Radial Velocity18.90 ± 2.00 km/s
Eccentricity0.17
Semi-Major Axis8732.00
Stellar Luminosity (Lsun)234.86

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts


Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Estimated Calculated Facts


Radius (x the Sun)4.75
Effective Temperature9,839 Kelvin

Sources and Links


SIMBAD SourceLink

Related Stars


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