Thuban (Alpha Draconis) is a blue giant star that can be located in the constellation of Draco. Alpha Draconis is the Bayer Classification for the star. The Id of the star in the Yale Bright Star Catalogue is HR5291. HIP68756 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD123299. Thuban has alternative name(s), 11 Draconis , 11 Dra.
When people talk about the Pole Star, we talk about Polaris being the nearly geostationary star above the north pole. Its not always been the case though with Polaris. In 3,000 B.C., the Pole Star was Thuban, not Polaris. The reason for the change is the rotational axis of the Earth. The Earth spins on its axis every 26,000 years so one day, Thuban might regain its title again. Ref: N.A.S.A.
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 Thuban, the location is 14h 04m 23.43 and +64d22`32.9 .
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 17.21 ± 0.15 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and -56.34 ± 0.17 miliarcseconds/year east if we saw them in the horizon.
Thuban has a spectral type of A0III SB. This means the star is a blue giant star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of -0.04 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 10,195 Kelvin.
Thuban has been calculated as 5.23 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 3,636,011.51.km.
Thuban has an apparent magnitude of 3.67 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 -1.21 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of -1.17. 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.
Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 10.56 which gave the calculated distance to Thuban as 308.87 light years away from Earth or 94.70 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 308.87 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 10.76 which put Thuban at a distance of 303.13 light years or 92.94 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 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 Stellar Age, Metallicity or Mass is from the E.U. Exoplanets. The information was obtained as of 12th Feb 2017.
|Short Name||11 Dra|
|Bayer Designation||Alpha Draconis|
|Alternative Name(s)||11 Draconis|
|Hipparcos Library I.D.||68756|
|Yale Bright Star Catalogue (HR) Id||5291|
|Bonner Durchmusterung||BD+65 978|
|Henry Draper Designation||123299|
|Star Type||giant star|
|Absolute Magnitude||-1.21 / -1.17|
|Right Ascension (R.A.)||14h 04m 23.43|
|1997 Distance from Earth||10.56 Parallax (milliarcseconds)|
|308.87 Light Years|
|2007 Revised Distance from Earth||10.76 Parallax (milliarcseconds)|
|303.13 Light Years|
|Proper Motion Dec.||17.21 ± 0.15 milliarcseconds/year|
|Proper Motion RA.||-56.34 ± 0.17 milliarcseconds/year|
|Orbital Period (Days)||51.42|
|Argument Of Periastron||23.20|
|Spectral Type||A0III SB|
|Radius (x the Sun)||5.23|
|Calculated Effective Temperature||10,195 Kelvin|
The map was generated using Night Vision, an awesome free application by Brian Simpson.