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SZ Tauri, HD29260, HIP21517

SZ Tauri is a blue to white pulsating supergiant star that can be located in the constellation of Taurus. The description is based on the spectral class. The star can be seen with the naked eye, that is, you don't need a telescope/binoculars to see it.

SZ Tauri's Alternative Names

HIP21517 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD29260.

SZ Tauri has alternative name(s) :- , SZ Tau.

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+18 661.

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

Location of SZ Tauri

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 SZ Tauri, the location is 04h 37m 14.78 and +18° 32` 35.0 .

Proper Motion of SZ Tauri

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 -5.91 ± 0.42 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and -1.97 ± 0.71 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 -1.20000 km/s with an error of about 0.20 km/s .

Physical Properties (Colour, Temperature) of SZ Tauri

SZ Tauri has a spectral type of F5Ib. This means the star is a blue to white supergiant star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 0.81 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 5,399 Kelvin.

SZ Tauri Radius has been calculated as being 17.23 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 11,988,680.48.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 22.40. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and has been known to produce widely incorrect figures.

SZ Tauri Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

SZ Tauri has an apparent magnitude of 6.49 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 -1.04 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of -1.61. 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 SZ Tauri

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 3.12 which gave the calculated distance to SZ Tauri as 1045.40 light years away from Earth or 320.51 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 1045.40 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 2.40 which put SZ Tauri at a distance of 1359.01 light years or 416.67 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 SZ Tauri

The star is a pulsating Delta Cepheid 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. SZ Tauri brightness ranges from a magnitude of 6.856 to a magnitude of 6.495 over its variable period. The smaller the magnitude, the brighter the star. Its variable/pulsating period lasts for 3.1 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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SZ Tauri Facts

Visual Facts


Primary / Proper / Traditional NameSZ Tauri
Alternative NamesHD 29260, HIP 21517, BD+18 661, SZ Tau
Spectral TypeF5Ib
Multiple Star SystemNo / Unknown
Star Type very luminous Supergiant Star
Colour blue to white
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationTaurus
Absolute Magnitude-1.04 / -1.61
Visual / Apparent Magnitude6.49
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)04h 37m 14.78
Declination (Dec.)+18° 32` 35.0
Galactic Latitude-18.74 degrees
Galactic Longitude179.49 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth3.12 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 1045.40 Light Years
 320.51 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth2.40 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 1359.01 Light Years
 416.67 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.-5.91 ± 0.42 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-1.97 ± 0.71 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index0.81
Radial Velocity-1.20 ± 0.20 km/s

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts


Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Variable Star Details


Variable Star ClassPulsating
Variable Star TypeDelta Cepheid
Mean Variability Period in Days3.149
Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)6.495 - 6.856

Estimated Facts


Calculated Effective Temperature5,399 Kelvin

Sources and Links


SIMBAD SourceLink

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