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W Sextantis, HD85319, HIP48316

W Sextantis is a carbon red pulsating variable star that can be located in the constellation of Sextans. The description is based on the spectral class. The star can not be seen by the naked eye, you need a telescope to see it.

W Sextantis's Alternative Names

HIP48316 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD85319.

W Sextantis has alternative name(s) :- , W Sex.

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-01 2312.

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

Location of W Sextantis

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 Sextantis, the location is 09h 50m 58.25 and -02° 01` 43.2 .

Proper Motion of W Sextantis

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 8.70 ± 0.63 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and -4.65 ± 1.06 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 us is 59.40000 km/s with an error of about 3.00 km/s .

Physical Properties (Colour, Temperature) of W Sextantis

W Sextantis has a spectral type of C0e. This means the star is a carbon red variable star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 2.45 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 41 Kelvin.

W Sextantis Radius has been calculated as being 119,488.57 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 83,140,147,397.79.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 137192.17. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and has been known to produce widely incorrect figures.

W Sextantis Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

W Sextantis has an apparent magnitude of 8.90 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 0.95 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 0.65. 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 Sextantis

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 2.57 which gave the calculated distance to W Sextantis as 1269.12 light years away from Earth or 389.11 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 1269.12 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 2.24 which put W Sextantis at a distance of 1456.09 light years or 446.43 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.

Variable Type of W Sextantis

The star is a pulsating Semi-Regular Star which are giants or supergiants of intermediate and late spectral 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 Sextantis brightness ranges from a magnitude of 9.229 to a magnitude of 8.693 over its variable period. The smaller the magnitude, the brighter the star. Its variable/pulsating period lasts for 200.8 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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W Sextantis Facts

Visual Facts


Primary / Proper / Traditional NameW Sextantis
Alternative NamesHD 85319, HIP 48316, BD-01 2312, W Sex
Spectral TypeC0e
Multiple Star SystemNo / Unknown
Star TypeVariable Star
Colour carbon red
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationSextans
Absolute Magnitude0.95 / 0.65
Visual / Apparent Magnitude8.90
Naked Eye VisibleRequires a 7x50 Binoculars - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)09h 50m 58.25
Declination (Dec.)-02° 01` 43.2
Galactic Latitude37.70 degrees
Galactic Longitude239.43 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth2.57 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 1269.12 Light Years
 389.11 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth2.24 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 1456.09 Light Years
 446.43 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.8.70 ± 0.63 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-4.65 ± 1.06 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index2.45
Radial Velocity59.40 ± 3.00 km/s

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts


Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Variable Star Details


Variable Star ClassPulsating
Variable Star TypeSemi-Regular Star which are giants or supergiants of intermediate and late spectral
Mean Variability Period in Days200.800
Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)8.693 - 9.229

Estimated Facts


Calculated Effective Temperature41 Kelvin

Sources and Links


SIMBAD SourceLink

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