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Tau Puppis, HD50310, HIP32768, HR2553

Tau Puppis is a orange to red giant star that can be located in the constellation of Puppis. 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.

Tau Puppis's Alternative Names

Tau Puppis (Tau Pup) is the Bayer Classification for the star. The Id of the star in the Yale Bright Star Catalogue is HR2553. HIP32768 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD50310.

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 39 G. Puppis. There are no stars with a Gould designation in Ursa Major for example.

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

Location of Tau Puppis

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 Tau Puppis, the location is 06h 49m 56.14 and -50° 36` 51.8 .

Proper Motion of Tau Puppis

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 -69.11 ± 0.37 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and 34.36 ± 0.40 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 34.40000 km/s with an error of about 0.30 km/s .

Tau Puppis 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 312.18 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 Tau Puppis

Tau Puppis has a spectral type of K0III.... This means the star is a orange to red giant star. The star is 7,409.00 Parsecs from the Galactic Centre or terms of Light Years is 24,165.44 s. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 1.2 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 4,489 Kelvin.

Tau Puppis Radius has been calculated as being 22.32 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 15,527,318.93.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 22.21. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and has been known to produce widely incorrect figures.

Tau Puppis Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Tau Puppis has an apparent magnitude of 2.94 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 -0.80 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of -0.79. 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 Puppis

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 17.85 which gave the calculated distance to Tau Puppis as 182.72 light years away from Earth or 56.02 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 182.72 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 17.92 which put Tau Puppis at a distance of 182.01 light years or 55.80 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 7,409.00 Parsecs or 24,165.44 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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Tau Puppis Facts

Visual Facts


Primary / Proper / Traditional NameTau Puppis
Alternative NamesTau Pup, HD 50310, HIP 32768, HR 2553, 39 G. Puppis
Spectral TypeK0III...
Multiple Star SystemYes
Star TypeGiant Star
Colour orange to red
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationPuppis
Absolute Magnitude-0.80 / -0.79
Visual / Apparent Magnitude2.94
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)06h 49m 56.14
Declination (Dec.)-50° 36` 51.8
Galactic Latitude-20.86 degrees
Galactic Longitude260.16 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth17.85 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 182.72 Light Years
 56.02 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth17.92 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 182.01 Light Years
 55.80 Parsecs
Galacto-Centric Distance24,165.44 Light Years / 7,409.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.-69.11 ± 0.37 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.34.36 ± 0.40 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index1.20
Radial Velocity34.40 ± 0.30 km/s
Eccentricity0.23
Inclination79.91
Semi-Major Axis6126.00
Stellar Luminosity (Lsun)312.18
Orbital Period (Days)1066.00
Argument Of Periastron64.00

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts


Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Estimated Facts


Calculated Effective Temperature4,489 Kelvin

Sources and Links


SIMBAD SourceLink

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