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W Orionis, HD32736, HIP23680, HR1648

Primary Facts on W Orionis

  • W Orionis's star type is pulsating variable star that can be located in the constellation of Orion. The description is based on the spectral class.
  • W Orionis is not part of the constellation outline but is within the borders of the constellation.
  • The star can be seen with the naked eye, that is, you don't need a telescope/binoculars to see it.
  • Using the most recent figures given by the 2007 Hipparcos data, the star is 1230.81 light years away from us.

W Orionis's Alternative Names

The Id of the star in the Yale Bright Star Catalogue is HR1648. HIP23680 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD32736.

W Orionis has alternative name(s) :- , W Ori.

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+00 939.

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

Location of W Orionis

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 Orionis, the location is 05h 05m 23.71 and +01° 10` 39.5 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of W Orionis

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 -4.42 ± 0.58 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and 12.13 ± 0.95 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 16.50 km/s with an error of about 1.60 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 (Temperature) of W Orionis

W Orionis has a spectral type of N5. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 3.33 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 0 Kelvin. The star's Iron Abundance is -1.52 with an error value of 9.99 Fe/H with the Sun has a value of 1 to put it into context.

W Orionis Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

W Orionis has an apparent magnitude of 6.10 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 -0.56 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of -1.78. 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 Orionis

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 4.66 which gave the calculated distance to W Orionis as 699.92 light years away from Earth or 214.59 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 699.92 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 2.65 which put W Orionis at a distance of 1230.81 light years or 377.36 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 77,835,544.92 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 W Orionis

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 Orionis brightness ranges from a magnitude of 6.187 to a magnitude of 5.607 over its variable period. The smaller the magnitude, the brighter the star. Its variable/pulsating period lasts for 0.5 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 Orionis Facts and Figures

Visual Facts

Primary / Proper / Traditional NameW Orionis
Alternative NamesW Ori, HD 32736, HIP 23680, HR 1648, BD+00 939, W Ori
Spectral TypeN5
Constellation's Main StarNo
Multiple Star SystemNo / Unknown
Star TypeVariable Star
GalaxyMilky Way
Absolute Magnitude -0.56 / -1.78
Visual / Apparent Magnitude6.10
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)05h 05m 23.71
Declination (Dec.)+01° 10` 39.5
Galactic Latitude-22.82 degrees
Galactic Longitude199.01 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth4.66 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 699.92 Light Years
 214.59 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth2.65 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 1230.81 Light Years
 377.36 Parsecs
 77,835,544.92 Astronomical Units
Proper Motion Dec.-4.42 ± 0.58 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.12.13 ± 0.95 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index3.33
Radial Velocity16.50 ± 1.60 km/s
Iron Abundance-1.52 ± 9.99 Fe/H

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts

Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Variable Star Details

Variable Star ClassPulsating
Variable Star TypeSemiregular late- (M
Mean Variability Period in Days0.510
Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)5.607 - 6.187

Estimated Facts

Sources and Links

SIMBAD SourceLink

Related Stars

Comments and Questions

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