Universe Guide


V959 Herculis - HD159968 - HIP86153

V959 Herculis is a red pulsating luminous giant star that can be located in the constellation of Hercules. HIP86153 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD159968. V959 Herculis has alternative name(s), V959_Her.

Location of V959 Herculis

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 V959 Herculis, the location is 17h 36m 21.42 and +27d34`00.5 .

Proper Motion of V959 Herculis

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 -069.65 ± 000.35 towards the north and -005.25 ± 000.44 east if we saw them in the horizon.

Physical Properties (Colour, Temperature, Radius) of V959 Herculis

V959 Herculis has a spectral type of M1II. This means the star is a red luminous giant star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 1.58 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 3,828 Kelvin.

V959 Herculis has been calculated as 33.49 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 23,305,245.99.km.

V959 Herculis Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

V959 Herculis has an apparent magnitude of 6.37 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 -0.99 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of -0.50. 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 V959 Herculis

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 3.38 which gave the calculated distance to V959 Herculis as 964.98 light years away from Earth or 295.86 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 964.98 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 4.23 which put V959 Herculis at a distance of 771.07 light years or 236.41 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 V959 Herculis

The star is a pulsating Semiregular s, which are giants or supergiants of intermediate and late spectral 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. V959 Herculis brightness ranges from a magnitude of 7.000 to a magnitude of 6.000 over its variable period. The smaller the magnitude, the brighter the star.

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 Stellar Age, Metallicity or Mass is from the E.U. Exoplanets. The information was obtained as of 12th Feb 2017.

V959 Herculis Facts

Alternative Names

Traditional NameV959 Herculis
Short NameV959 Her
Hipparcos Library I.D.86153
Bonner DurchmusterungBD+27 2849
Henry Draper Designation159968

Visual Facts

Star Typeluminous giant star
Absolute Magnitude-0.99 / -0.50
Apparent Magnitude6.37
Right Ascension (R.A.)17h 36m 21.42
Declination (Dec.)+27d34`00.5
1997 Distance from Earth3.38 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 964.98 Light Years
 295.86 Parsecs
2007 Revised Distance from Earth4.23 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 771.07 Light Years
 236.41 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.-69.65 ± 0.35 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-5.25 ± 0.44 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index1.58
Spectral TypeM1II
Colour(M) Red

Variable Star Details

Variable Star ClassPulsating
Variable Star TypeSemiregular s, which are giants or supergiants of intermediate and late spectral
Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)6.000 - 7.000

Estimated Facts

Radius (x the Sun)33.49
Calculated Effective Temperature3,828 Kelvin

Sources and Links

SIMBAD SourceLink

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