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Tau Ceti - HD10700 - HIP8102

Tau Ceti is a white to yellow main sequence dwarf star that can be located in the constellation of Cetus. The star can be seen with the naked eye, that is, you don't need a telescope/binoculars to see it.

Tau Ceti is the Bayer Classification for the star. HIP8102 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD10700. The Id of the star in the Gould Star Catalogue is 177. Stars in the southern hemisphere are more likely to have a Gould Id than the northern hemisphere. For example, there are no Gould classified stars in Ursa Major. The Gliese ID of the star is Gliese GL71. The star was part of the original catalogue devised by German Astronomer Wilheim Gliese of stars located within 20 parsecs of Earth. Ref : Star Names.

Tau Ceti has alternative name(s), 52 Ceti , 52 Cet, Tau Cet. Tau Ceti has at least 5 Extrasolar Planets believed to be in orbit around the star.

Location of Tau Ceti

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 Tau Ceti, the location is 01h 44m 05.13 and -15d56`22.4 .

Proper Motion of Tau 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 854.16 ± 0.13 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and -1,721.05 ± 0.17 miliarcseconds/year east if we saw them in the horizon.

Tau 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 1.0000000 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 Tau Ceti

Tau Ceti has a spectral type of G8V. This means the star is a white to yellow main sequence dwarf star. The star is 7401.00000000 Parsecs from the Galactic Centre or terms of Light Years is 24139.3490894400000000s. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 0.72 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 5,503 Kelvin.

Tau Ceti Radius has been calculated as being 0.75 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 522,556.24.km. However with the 2007 release of updated Hipparcos files, the radius is now calculated at being round 0.75. 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 -0.48 with an error value of 0.01 Fe/H with the Sun has a value of 1 to put it into context.

Tau Ceti Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Tau Ceti has an apparent magnitude of 3.49 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 5.68 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 5.68. 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 Tau Ceti

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 274.17 which gave the calculated distance to Tau Ceti as 11.90 light years away from Earth or 3.65 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 11.90 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 273.96 which put Tau Ceti at a distance of 11.91 light years or 3.65 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 7,401.00 Parsecs or 24,139.35 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.

Tau Ceti Facts

Alternative Names

Short Name52 Cet, Tau Cet
Bayer DesignationTau Ceti
Alternative Name(s)52 Ceti
Hipparcos Library I.D.8102
Bonner DurchmusterungBDD-16 295
Gould I.D.177
Gliese ID71
Henry Draper Designation10700

Visual Facts

Star Typemain sequence dwarf star
Absolute Magnitude5.68 / 5.68
Visual / Apparent Magnitude3.49
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Ref: Wiki
Right Ascension (R.A.)01h 44m 05.13
Declination (Dec.)-15d56`22.4
Galactic Latitude-73.44 degrees
Galactic Longitude173.12 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth274.17 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 11.90 Light Years
 3.65 Parsecs
2007 Revised Distance from Earth273.96 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 11.91 Light Years
 3.65 Parsecs
Galacto-Centric Distance24,139.35 Light Years / 7,401.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.854.16 ± 0.13 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-1721.05 ± 0.17 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index0.72
Radial Velocity-16.68 ± 0.05 km/s
Iron Abundance-0.48 ± 0.01 Fe/H
Spectral TypeG8V
Colour(G) White to Yellow

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts

Exoplanet Count5

Estimated Facts

Luminosity (x the Sun)1.0000000
Calculated Effective Temperature5,503 Kelvin

Sources and Links

SIMBAD SourceLink

Related Stars

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
10700-16 295.0A3.60000-1717.00000858.00000K0Orange
B13.100001939

List of Extrasolar Planets orbiting Tau Ceti


NameStatusMass (Jupiters)Orbital Period (Days)EccentricityDiscoveredSemi-Major AxisPeriastron
Tau Cet BUnconfirmed0.006313.9650.1620120.10586.000
Tau Cet CUnconfirmed0.009835.3620.0320120.195170.000
Tau Cet DUnconfirmed0.01194.1100.0820120.374228.000
Tau Cet EUnconfirmed0.0135168.1200.0520120.552314.000
Tau Cet FUnconfirmed0.021642.0000.0320121.35222.000

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