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X Cancri (Carbon Star) Facts

X Cancri Facts

  • X Cancri is a pulsating Carbon star that can be located in the constellation of Cancer. The description is based on the spectral class.
  • X Cancri is not part of the constellation outline but is within the borders of the constellation.
  • Based on the spectral type (C6II) of the star, the star's colour is carbon red .
  • 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 1117.00 light years away from us. Distance

X Cancri's Alternative Names

The Id of the star in the Yale Bright Star Catalogue is HR3541. HIP43811 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD76221.

X Cancri has alternative name(s) :- , X Cnc.

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+17 1973.

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

Location of X Cancri

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 X Cancri, the location is 08h 55m 22.88 and +17° 13` 52.5 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of X Cancri

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 6.27 ± 0.62 milliarcseconds/year towards the north and -2.28 ± 0.78 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 -5.00000 km/s with an error of about 0.70 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 X Cancri

X Cancri Colour and Temperature

Based on the star's spectral type of C6II , X Cancri's colour and type is carbon red Carbon star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 2.97 which means the star's temperature is about 0 Kelvin. The temperature was calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu.

X Cancri Iron Abundance

X Cancri Iron Abundance is -0.30 with an error value of 9.99 Fe/H with the Sun has a value of 1 to put it into context. The value comes from the Hipparcos Extended Catalog.

X Cancri Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

X Cancri has an apparent magnitude of 6.28 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 -3.95 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of -1.39. 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 X Cancri

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 0.90000 which gave the calculated distance to X Cancri as 3624.04 light years away from Earth or 1111.11 parsecs. If you want that in miles, it is about 21,304,373,497,432,329.98, based on 1 Ly = 5,878,625,373,183.61 miles.

In 2007, Hipparcos data was revised with a new parallax of 2.92000 which put X Cancri at a distance of 1117.00 light years or 342.47 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 70,639,015.98 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.

Travel Time to X Cancri

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)
Walking4187,269,693,648.25
Car1206,242,323,121.61
Airbus A3807361,017,770,074.18
Speed of Sound (Mach 1)767.269976,292,245.08
Concorde (Mach 2)1,534.54488,145,486.33
New Horizons Probe33,00022,699,356.81
Speed of Light670,616,629.001,117.00

Variable Type of X Cancri

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. X Cancri brightness ranges from a magnitude of 6.327 to a magnitude of 6.023 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 X Cancri Facts and Figures

Visual Facts


Primary / Proper / Traditional NameX Cancri
Alternative NamesX Cnc, HD 76221, HIP 43811, HR 3541, BD+17 1973, X Cnc
Spectral TypeC6II
Constellation's Main StarNo
Multiple Star SystemNo / Unknown
Star TypeCarbon Star
ColourRed
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationCancer
Absolute Magnitude -3.95 / -1.39
Visual / Apparent Magnitude6.28
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)08h 55m 22.88
Declination (Dec.)+17° 13` 52.5
Galactic Latitude34.93873874 degrees
Galactic Longitude210.17537599 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth0.90000 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 3624.04 Light Years
 1111.11 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth2.92000 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 1117.00 Light Years
 342.47 Parsecs
 70,639,015.98 Astronomical Units
Proper Motion Dec.6.27000 ± 0.62000 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-2.28000 ± 0.78000 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index2.97
Radial Velocity-5.00000 ± 0.70 km/s
Iron Abundance-0.3000 ± 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 Days0.243
Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)6.023 - 6.327

Estimated Calculated Facts


Calculated Temperature Range2,400.00 - 3,700.00

Sources and Links


SIMBAD SourceLink

Related Stars


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