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X Ceti, HD20646, HIP15465

Primary Facts on X Ceti

  • X Ceti's star type is pulsating variable star that can be located in the constellation of Cetus. The description is based on the spectral class.
  • X Ceti is not part of the constellation outline but is within the borders of the constellation.
  • Based on the spectral type (M2e(S)-M6e) of the star, the star's colour is red .
  • The star can not be seen by the naked eye, you need a telescope to see it.
  • Using the most recent figures given by the 2007 Hipparcos data, the star is 381.48 light years away from us.

X Ceti's Alternative Names

HIP15465 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD20646.

X Ceti has alternative name(s) :- X Cet, X Cet.

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-01 475.

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

Location of X Ceti

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 X Ceti, the location is 03h 19m 26.06 and -01° 03` 56.1 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of X Ceti

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 -5.72 ± 1.99 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and 15.28 ± 3.55 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 59.00 km/s with an error of about 4.70 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 (Colour, Temperature) of X Ceti

X Ceti has a spectral type of M2e(S)-M6e. 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.

X Ceti Radius has been calculated as being 1.61 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 1,117,326.45.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 2.07. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and has been known to produce widely incorrect figures.

X Ceti Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

X Ceti has an apparent magnitude of 10.19 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 5.40 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 4.85. 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 Ceti

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 10.99 which gave the calculated distance to X Ceti as 296.78 light years away from Earth or 90.99 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 296.78 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 8.55 which put X Ceti at a distance of 381.48 light years or 116.96 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 24,124,563.64 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 X Ceti

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. X Ceti brightness ranges from a magnitude of 11.714 to a magnitude of 9.032 over its variable period. The smaller the magnitude, the brighter the star. Its variable/pulsating period lasts for 179.5 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 X Ceti Facts and Figures

Visual Facts

Primary / Proper / Traditional NameX Ceti
Alternative NamesX Cet, HD 20646, HIP 15465, BD-01 475, X Cet
Spectral TypeM2e(S)-M6e
Constellation's Main StarNo
Multiple Star SystemNo / Unknown
Star TypeVariable Star
Colour red
GalaxyMilky Way
Absolute Magnitude 5.40 / 4.85
Visual / Apparent Magnitude10.19
Naked Eye VisibleRequires a 4.5 - 6 Inch Telescope - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)03h 19m 26.06
Declination (Dec.)-01° 03` 56.1
Galactic Latitude-45.98 degrees
Galactic Longitude182.92 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth10.99 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 296.78 Light Years
 90.99 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth8.55 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 381.48 Light Years
 116.96 Parsecs
 24,124,563.64 Astronomical Units
Proper Motion Dec.-5.72 ± 1.99 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.15.28 ± 3.55 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index1.50
Radial Velocity59.00 ± 4.70 km/s

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts

Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Variable Star Details

Variable Star ClassPulsating
Variable Star TypeOmicron Ceti
Mean Variability Period in Days179.510
Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)9.032 - 11.714

Estimated Facts

Calculated Effective Temperature4,014 Kelvin

Sources and Links

SIMBAD SourceLink

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