W Centauri is a red pulsating variable star that can be located in the constellation of Centaurus. The description is based on the spectral class. W Centauri 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.
HIP58107 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD103513.
W Centauri has alternative name(s) :- , W Cen.
More details on star alternative names can be found at Star Names .
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 W Centauri, the location is 11h 55m 01.37 and -59° 15` 13.6 .
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 7.68 ± 0.65 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and -37.04 ± 1.01 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 58.00 km/s with an error of about 999.00 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.
W Centauri has a spectral type of M5e. This means the star is a red variable star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 1.5 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 4,014 Kelvin.
W Centauri Radius has been calculated as being 19.94 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 13,875,025.22.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 8.43. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and has been known to produce widely incorrect figures.
W Centauri has an apparent magnitude of 10.44 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 -0.07 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 1.80. 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.
Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 0.79 which gave the calculated distance to W Centauri as 4128.65 light years away from Earth or 1265.82 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 4128.65 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 1.87 which put W Centauri at a distance of 1744.19 light years or 534.76 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.
The star is a pulsating Omicron Ceti 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 Centauri brightness ranges from a magnitude of 11.292 to a magnitude of 7.845 over its variable period. The smaller the magnitude, the brighter the star. Its variable/pulsating period lasts for 203.0 days (variability).
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.
|Primary / Proper / Traditional Name||W Centauri|
|Alternative Names||HD 103513, HIP 58107, W Cen|
|Constellation's Main Star||No|
|Multiple Star System||No / Unknown|
|Star Type||Variable Star|
|Absolute Magnitude||-0.07 / 1.80|
|Visual / Apparent Magnitude||10.44|
|Naked Eye Visible||Requires a 4.5 - 6 Inch Telescope - Magnitudes|
|Right Ascension (R.A.)||11h 55m 01.37|
|Declination (Dec.)||-59° 15` 13.6|
|Galactic Latitude||2.83 degrees|
|Galactic Longitude||295.77 degrees|
|1997 Distance from Earth||0.79 Parallax (milliarcseconds)|
|4128.65 Light Years|
|2007 Distance from Earth||1.87 Parallax (milliarcseconds)|
|1744.19 Light Years|
|Proper Motion Dec.||7.68 ± 0.65 milliarcseconds/year|
|Proper Motion RA.||-37.04 ± 1.01 milliarcseconds/year|
|Radial Velocity||58.00 ± 999.00 km/s|
|Variable Star Class||Pulsating|
|Variable Star Type||Omicron Ceti|
|Mean Variability Period in Days||203.000|
|Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)||7.845 - 11.292|
|Calculated Effective Temperature||4,014 Kelvin|