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VX Sagittarii (Supergiant Star) Star Facts

VX Sagittarii Facts

  • VX Sagittarii is a pulsating giant star that can be located in the constellation of Sagittarius. The description is based on the spectral class.
  • VX Sagittarii is not part of the constellation outline but is within the borders of the constellation.
  • Based on the spectral type (M5/M6III:) of the star, the star's colour is red .
  • The star can not be seen by the naked eye, you need a telescope to see it.
  • VX Sagittarii has a radius that is 1,120.00 times bigger than the Suns. Radius
  • Using the most recent figures given by the 2007 Hipparcos data, the star is 853.83 light years away from us. Distance

Information on VX Sagittarii

Although it shares the start of its name with a deadly gas, it is nothing to do with the nerve gas. The VX is probably from the names of the people who first discovered the large pulsating star. It is located towards the Galactic Centre where there are other large stars such as UY Scuti. VX is one of the largest stars to have been discovered, it is probably named after the discoverers. Its been calculated to pulsate between 1,350 to 1,940 times the radius of the Sun. ref: Wiki

VX Sagittarii's Alternative Names

HIP88838 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD165674.

VX Sagittarii has alternative name(s) :- VX Sgr, VX Sgr.

BD number is the number that the star was filed under in the Durchmusterung or Bonner Durchmusterung, a star catalogue that was put together by the Bonn Observatory between 1859 to 1903. The star's BD Number is BD-22 4575.

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

Location of VX Sagittarii

The location of the giant 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 object is compared to the celestial equator and is expressed in degrees. For VX Sagittarii, the location is 18h 08m 04.05 and -22° 13` 26.6 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of VX Sagittarii

Proper Motion

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 -6.71 ± 1.51 milliarcseconds/year towards the north and 3.20 ± 2.73 milliarcseconds/year east if we saw them in the horizon.

Radial Velocity

The Radial Velocity, that is the speed at which the star is moving away/towards the Sun is 3.00000 km/s with an error of about 4.20 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 of VX Sagittarii

VX Sagittarii Temperature and Colour

Based on the star's spectral type of M5/M6III: , VX Sagittarii's colour and type is red giant star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 2.77 which means the star's temperature is about 0 Kelvin. The temperature was calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu.

VX Sagittarii Radius

VX Sagittarii Radius has been calculated as being 1,120.00 times bigger than the Sun. The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 779,296,000.00.km. If you need the diameter of the star, you just need to multiple the radius by 2.

VX Sagittarii Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

VX Sagittarii has an apparent magnitude of 8.82 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 1.23 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 1.73. 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 VX Sagittarii

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 3.03000 which gave the calculated distance to VX Sagittarii as 1076.45 light years away from Earth or 330.03 parsecs. If you want that in miles, it is about 6,328,046,282,963,496.98, based on 1 Ly = 5,878,625,373,183.61 miles.

In 2007, Hipparcos data was revised with a new parallax of 3.82000 which put VX Sagittarii at a distance of 853.83 light years or 261.78 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 53,995,624.73 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.

Travel Time to VX Sagittarii

The time it will take to travel to this star is dependent on how fast you are going. U.G. has done some calculations as to how long it will take going at differing speeds. A note about the calculations, when I'm talking about years, I'm talking non-leap years only (365 days).

The New Horizons space probe is the fastest probe that we've sent into space at the time of writing. Its primary mission was to visit Pluto which at the time of launch (2006), Pluto was still a planet.

DescriptionSpeed (m.p.h.)Time (years)
Walking4143,148,149,084.77
Car1204,771,604,969.49
Airbus A380736777,979,071.11
Speed of Sound (Mach 1)767.269746,273,596.79
Concorde (Mach 2)1,534.54373,136,312.08
New Horizons Probe33,00017,351,290.80
Speed of Light670,616,629.00853.83

Variable Type of VX Sagittarii

The star is a pulsating Semiregular late- (M 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. VX Sagittarii brightness ranges from a magnitude of 9.349 to a magnitude of 7.859 over its variable period. The smaller the magnitude, the brighter the star. Its variable/pulsating period lasts for 737.0 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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Additional VX Sagittarii Facts and Figures

Visual Facts


Primary / Proper / Traditional NameVX Sagittarii
Alternative NamesVX Sgr, HD 165674, HIP 88838, BD-22 4575, VX Sgr
Spectral TypeM5/M6III:
Constellation's Main StarNo
Multiple Star SystemNo / Unknown
Star TypeGiant Star
ColourRed
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationSagittarius
Absolute Magnitude 1.23 / 1.73
Visual / Apparent Magnitude8.82
Naked Eye VisibleRequires a 7x50 Binoculars - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)18h 08m 04.05
Declination (Dec.)-22° 13` 26.6
Galactic Latitude-1.00193496 degrees
Galactic Longitude8.34412443 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth3.03000 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 1076.45 Light Years
 330.03 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth3.82000 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 853.83 Light Years
 261.78 Parsecs
 53,995,624.73 Astronomical Units
Proper Motion Dec.-6.71000 ± 1.51000 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.3.20000 ± 2.73000 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index2.77
Radial Velocity3.00000 ± 4.20 km/s

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts


Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Variable Star Details


Variable Star ClassPulsating
Variable Star TypeSemiregular late- (M
Mean Variability Period in Days737.000
Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)7.859 - 9.349

Estimated Calculated Facts


Radius (x the Sun)1,120.00 - 1,550.00
Calculated Temperature Range2,400.00 - 3,700.00

Sources and Links


SIMBAD SourceLink

Location of VX Sagittarii in Sagittarius


VX Sagittarii Location in Sagittarius

The map was generated using Night Vision, an awesome free application by Brian Simpson.

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