Universe Guide

W Canis Minoris (Carbon Star) Facts

W Canis Minoris Facts

W Canis Minoris's Alternative Names

HIP38124 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD63353.

W Canis Minoris has alternative name(s) :- , W CMi.

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+05 1797.

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

Location of W Canis Minoris

The location of the Carbon 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 W Canis Minoris, the location is 07h 48m 45.53 and +05° 23` 35.4 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of W Canis Minoris

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 -5.65 ± 0.81 milliarcseconds/year towards the north and -0.42 ± 1.19 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 16.00 km/s with an error of about 4.10 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 W Canis Minoris

W Canis Minoris Colour and Temperature

W Canis Minoris has a spectral type of C3II. This means the star is a carbon red Carbon star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 2.65 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 0 Kelvin.

W Canis Minoris Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

W Canis Minoris has an apparent magnitude of 8.87 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 -3.89 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of -11.13. 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 W Canis Minoris

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 0.28 which gave the calculated distance to W Canis Minoris as 11648.69 light years away from Earth or 3571.43 parsecs. If you want that in miles, it is 1,917,392,086,326,309,409.22.

In 2007, Hipparcos data was revised with a new parallax of 0.01 which put W Canis Minoris at a distance of 326163.34 light years or 100000 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 20,626,336,898.40 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.

Time to Travel to W Canis Minoris

A note about the calculations, when I'm talking about years, I'm talking non-leap years only (365 days).

If you were to drive there at about 120 m.p.h. in a car with an infinity engine so you didn't have to pull over for petrol, it would take you 570,652,371,652,917.25 hours or 65,142,964,800.56 years.

At the time of writing, the fastest probe so far created is the New Horizon probe which is travelling at a speed of 33,000 m.p.h. If the probe was travelling to W Canis Minoris then it would take 2,075,099,533,283.34 hours / 236,883,508.37 years to get there. Speed Ref: N.A.S.A.

It would to take a spaceship journey travelling at the speed of light, 11648.69 years to get there. We don't have the technology or spaceship that can carry people over that distance yet.

Variable Type of W Canis Minoris

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. W Canis Minoris brightness ranges from a magnitude of 9.013 to a magnitude of 8.743 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 W Canis Minoris Facts and Figures

Visual Facts

Primary / Proper / Traditional NameW Canis Minoris
Alternative NamesHD 63353, HIP 38124, BD+05 1797, W CMi
Spectral TypeC3II
Constellation's Main StarNo
Multiple Star SystemNo / Unknown
Star TypeCarbon Star
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationCanis Minor
Absolute Magnitude -3.89 / -11.13
Visual / Apparent Magnitude8.87
Naked Eye VisibleRequires a 7x50 Binoculars - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)07h 48m 45.53
Declination (Dec.)+05° 23` 35.4
Galactic Latitude15.20 degrees
Galactic Longitude214.64 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth0.28 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 11648.69 Light Years
 3571.43 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth0.01 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 326163.34 Light Years
 100000 Parsecs
 20,626,336,898.40 Astronomical Units
Proper Motion Dec.-5.65 ± 0.81 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-0.42 ± 1.19 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index2.65
Radial Velocity16.00 ± 4.10 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 Days0.227
Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)8.743 - 9.013

Sources and Links

SIMBAD SourceLink

Related Stars

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