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VW Columbae, HD34659, HIP24710

VW Columbae is a orange to red eclipsing binary sys main sequence dwarf star that can be located in the constellation of Columba. The description is based on the spectral class. VW Columbae is not part of the constellation but is within the borders of the constellation.

The star can not be seen by the naked eye, you need a telescope to see it.

VW Columbae's Alternative Names

HIP24710 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD34659.

VW Columbae has alternative name(s) :- , VW Col.

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

Location of VW Columbae

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 VW Columbae, the location is 05h 18m 00.42 and -27° 29` 25.6 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of VW Columbae

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 -118.43 ± 4.45 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and -45.47 ± 5.78 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 the Sun is -3.20 km/s with an error of about 0.30 km/s . When the value is negative then the star and the Sun are getting closer to one another, likewise, a positive number means that two stars are moving away. Its nothing to fear as the stars are so far apart, they won't collide in our life-time, if ever.

Physical Properties (Colour, Temperature) of VW Columbae

VW Columbae has a spectral type of K3V. This means the star is a orange to red main sequence dwarf star. The star is 7,428.00 Parsecs from the Galactic Centre or terms of Light Years is 24,227.41 s. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 1.01 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 4,830 Kelvin.

VW Columbae Radius has been calculated as being 0.97 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 678,324.97.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 0.55. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and has been known to produce widely incorrect figures.

VW Columbae Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

VW Columbae has an apparent magnitude of 9.28 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 6.91. 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 VW Columbae

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 19.09 which gave the calculated distance to VW Columbae as 170.86 light years away from Earth or 52.38 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 170.86 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 33.53 which put VW Columbae at a distance of 97.28 light years or 29.82 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.

Using the 2007 distance, the star is roughly 6,150,773.66 Astronomical Units from the Earth/Sun give or take a few. An Astronomical Unit is the distance between Earth and the Sun. The number of A.U. is the number of times that the star is from the Earth compared to the Sun.

The star's Galacto-Centric Distance is 7,428.00 Parsecs or 24,227.41 Light Years. The Galacto-Centric Distance is the distance from the star to the Centre of the Galaxy which is Sagittarius A*.

Variable Type of VW Columbae

The star is a eclipsing binary sys Beta Persei (Algol) 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. VW Columbae brightness ranges from a magnitude of 10.330 to a magnitude of 9.240 over its variable period. The smaller the magnitude, the brighter the star. Its variable/pulsating period lasts for 2.1 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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VW Columbae Facts

Visual Facts


Primary / Proper / Traditional NameVW Columbae
Alternative NamesHD 34659, HIP 24710, VW Col
Spectral TypeK3V
Constellation's Main StarNo
Multiple Star SystemYes
Star Type main sequence Dwarf Star
Colour orange to red
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationColumba
Absolute Magnitude 5.68 / 6.91
Visual / Apparent Magnitude9.28
Naked Eye VisibleRequires a 7x50 Binoculars - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)05h 18m 00.42
Declination (Dec.)-27° 29` 25.6
Galactic Latitude-31.57 degrees
Galactic Longitude230.03 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth19.09 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 170.86 Light Years
 52.38 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth33.53 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 97.28 Light Years
 29.82 Parsecs
 6,150,773.66 Astronomical Units
Galacto-Centric Distance24,227.41 Light Years / 7,428.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.-118.43 ± 4.45 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-45.47 ± 5.78 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index1.01
Radial Velocity-3.20 ± 0.30 km/s
Eccentricity0.24
Semi-Major Axis8615.00

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts


Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Variable Star Details


Variable Star ClassEclipsing binary sys
Variable Star TypeBeta Persei (Algol)
Mean Variability Period in Days2.059
Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)9.240 - 10.330

Estimated Facts


Calculated Effective Temperature4,830 Kelvin

Sources and Links


SIMBAD SourceLink

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
34659-27 2189.2A9.50000K0Orange
B9.700001901

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