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VY Pictoris, HD33362, HIP23761

Primary Facts on VY Pictoris

  • VY Pictoris's star type is eruptive giant star that can be located in the constellation of Pictor. The description is based on the spectral class.
  • VY Pictoris is not part of the constellation outline but is within the borders of the constellation.
  • Based on the spectral type (M4III) 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.
  • Using the most recent figures given by the 2007 Hipparcos data, the star is 2038.52 light years away from us.

VY Pictoris's Alternative Names

HIP23761 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD33362.

VY Pictoris has alternative name(s) :- , VY Pic.

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

Location of VY Pictoris

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 VY Pictoris, the location is 05h 06m 24.54 and -56° 13` 53.3 .

Proper Motion of VY Pictoris

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 6.06 ± 0.61 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and 5.26 ± 0.60 miliarcseconds/year east if we saw them in the horizon. . 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 VY Pictoris

VY Pictoris has a spectral type of M4III. This means the star is a red giant star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 1.49 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 4,007 Kelvin.

VY Pictoris Radius has been calculated as being 32.16 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 22,374,840.32.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 24.73. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and has been known to produce widely incorrect figures.

VY Pictoris Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

VY Pictoris has an apparent magnitude of 8.45 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 -1.10 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of -0.53. 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 VY Pictoris

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 1.23 which gave the calculated distance to VY Pictoris as 2651.73 light years away from Earth or 813.01 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 2651.73 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 1.60 which put VY Pictoris at a distance of 2038.52 light years or 625 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 128,914,605.61 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.

Variable Type of VY Pictoris

The star is a eruptive Irregular 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. VY Pictoris brightness ranges from a magnitude of 8.537 to a magnitude of 8.296 over its variable period. The smaller the magnitude, the brighter the star. Its variable/pulsating period lasts for 0.2 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 VY Pictoris Facts and Figures

Visual Facts


Primary / Proper / Traditional NameVY Pictoris
Alternative NamesHD 33362, HIP 23761, VY Pic
Spectral TypeM4III
Constellation's Main StarNo
Multiple Star SystemNo / Unknown
Star TypeGiant Star
Colour red
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationPictor
Absolute Magnitude -1.10 / -0.53
Visual / Apparent Magnitude8.45
Naked Eye VisibleRequires a 7x50 Binoculars - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)05h 06m 24.54
Declination (Dec.)-56° 13` 53.3
Galactic Latitude-36.72 degrees
Galactic Longitude264.48 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth1.23 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 2651.73 Light Years
 813.01 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth1.60 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 2038.52 Light Years
 625 Parsecs
 128,914,605.61 Astronomical Units
Proper Motion Dec.6.06 ± 0.61 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.5.26 ± 0.60 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index1.49

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts


Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Variable Star Details


Variable Star ClassEruptive
Variable Star TypeIrregular
Mean Variability Period in Days0.191
Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)8.296 - 8.537

Estimated Facts


Calculated Effective Temperature4,007 Kelvin

Sources and Links


SIMBAD SourceLink

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