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VY Piscium (3 Arietis) Star Facts

VY Piscium Facts

  • VY Piscium is a pulsating giant star that can be located in the constellation of Pisces. The description is based on the spectral class.
  • VY Piscium is not part of the constellation outline but is within the borders of the constellation.
  • Based on the spectral type (A9III) of the star, the star's colour is blue - white .
  • 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 456.81 light years away from us. Distance

VY Piscium's Alternative Names

The Id of the star in the Yale Bright Star Catalogue is HR515. HIP8271 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD10845.

Flamsteed designations are named after the creator, Sir John Flamsteed. Sir John named the stars in the constellation with a number and its latin name, this star's Flamsteed designation is 3 Arietis. The Flamsteed name can be shortened to 3 Ari.

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+16 196.

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

Location of VY Piscium

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 VY Piscium, the location is 01h 46m 35.27 and +17° 24` 45.7 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of VY Piscium

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 2.13 ± 0.38 milliarcseconds/year towards the north and 51.04 ± 0.60 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 -1.00000 km/s with an error of about 4.40 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 VY Piscium

VY Piscium Temperature and Colour

Based on the star's spectral type of A9III , VY Piscium's colour and type is blue - white giant star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 0.25 which means the star's temperature is about 7,483 Kelvin. The temperature was calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu.

VY Piscium Luminosity

Luminosity is the amount of energy that a star pumps out and its relative to the amount that our star, the Sun gives out. The figure of 38.31 that I have given is based on the value in the Simbad Hipparcos Extended Catalogue at the University of Strasbourg from 2012.

VY Piscium Radius

VY Piscium estimated radius has been calculated as being 5.90 times bigger than the Sun. The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 4,104,286.00.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 3.8084114744745192496256698601. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS rather than peer reviewed papers. It has been known to produce widely incorrect figures.

VY Piscium Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

VY Piscium has an apparent magnitude of 6.55 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 -0.13 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 0.82. 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 Piscium

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 4.61000 which gave the calculated distance to VY Piscium as 707.51 light years away from Earth or 216.92 parsecs. If you want that in miles, it is about 4,159,186,237,781,135.91, based on 1 Ly = 5,878,625,373,183.61 miles.

In 2007, Hipparcos data was revised with a new parallax of 7.14000 which put VY Piscium at a distance of 456.81 light years or 140.06 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 28,889,247.46 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 7,479.00 Parsecs or 24,393.76 Light Years. The Galacto-Centric Distance is the distance from the star to the Centre of the Galaxy which is Sagittarius A*.

Travel Time to VY Piscium

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)
Walking476,586,095,573.37
Car1202,552,869,852.45
Airbus A380736416,228,780.29
Speed of Sound (Mach 1)767.269399,265,944.92
Concorde (Mach 2)1,534.54199,632,712.27
New Horizons Probe33,0009,283,163.10
Speed of Light670,616,629.00456.81

Variable Type of VY Piscium

The star is a pulsating Delta Scuti 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.

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 Piscium Facts and Figures

Visual Facts


Primary / Proper / Traditional NameVY Piscium
Alternative NamesHD 10845, HIP 8271, HR 515, 3 Arietis, 3 Ari, BD+16 196
Spectral TypeA9III
Constellation's Main StarNo
Multiple Star SystemNo / Unknown
Star TypeGiant Star
ColourBlue
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationPisces
Absolute Magnitude -0.13 / 0.82
Visual / Apparent Magnitude6.55
Naked Eye VisibleRequires a 7x50 Binoculars - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)01h 46m 35.27
Declination (Dec.)+17° 24` 45.7
Galactic Latitude-43.49417356 degrees
Galactic Longitude141.19995771 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth4.61000 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 707.51 Light Years
 216.92 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth7.14000 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 456.81 Light Years
 140.06 Parsecs
 28,889,247.46 Astronomical Units
Galacto-Centric Distance24,393.76 Light Years / 7,479.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec. 2.13000 ± 0.38000 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.51.04000 ± 0.60000 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index0.25
Radial Velocity-1.00000 ± 4.40 km/s
Eccentricity0.07100
Semi-Major Axis7210.0000000
Stellar Luminosity (Lsun)38.3100000

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts


Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Variable Star Details


Variable Star ClassPulsating
Variable Star TypeDelta Scuti

Estimated Calculated Facts


Radius (x the Sun)3.81
Effective Temperature7,483 Kelvin

Sources and Links


SIMBAD SourceLink

Related Stars


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