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Xi Columbae, HD40176, HIP28010, HR2087

Primary Facts on Xi Columbae

  • Xi Columbae's star type is giant star that can be located in the constellation of Columba. The description is based on the spectral class.
  • Xi Columbae is not part of the constellation outline but is within the borders of the constellation.
  • Based on the spectral type (K1IIICN...) of the star, the star's colour is orange to 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 332.82 light years away from us.

Xi Columbae's Alternative Names

Xi Columbae (Ksi Col) is the Bayer Classification for the star. The Id of the star in the Yale Bright Star Catalogue is HR2087. HIP28010 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD40176.

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

Location of Xi Columbae

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 Xi Columbae, the location is 05h 55m 29.89 and -37° 07` 14.2 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of Xi Columbae

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 -25.35 ± 0.31 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and 36.90 ± 0.37 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 59.50 km/s with an error of about 2.80 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.

Xi Columbae Luminosity

Luminosity is the amount of energy that a star pumps out and its relative to the amount that our star, the Sun gives out. The figure of 143.77 that I have given is based on the value in the Simbad Hipparcos Extended Catalogue at the University of Strasbourg from 2012.

Physical Properties (Colour, Temperature) of Xi Columbae

Xi Columbae has a spectral type of K1IIICN.... This means the star is a orange to red giant star. The star is 7,442.00 Parsecs from the Galactic Centre or in terms of Light Years is 24,273.08 s. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 1.1 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 4,664 Kelvin.

Xi Columbae Radius has been calculated as being 14.63 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 10,182,894.34.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 14.77. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and has been known to produce widely incorrect figures.

Xi Columbae Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Xi Columbae has an apparent magnitude of 4.97 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 -0.05 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of -0.07. 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 Xi Columbae

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 9.93 which gave the calculated distance to Xi Columbae as 328.46 light years away from Earth or 100.70 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 328.46 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 9.80 which put Xi Columbae at a distance of 332.82 light years or 102.04 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 21,047,114.17 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.

The star's Galacto-Centric Distance is 7,442.00 Parsecs or 24,273.08 Light Years. The Galacto-Centric Distance is the distance from the star to the Centre of the Galaxy which is Sagittarius A*.

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 Xi Columbae Facts and Figures

Visual Facts


Primary / Proper / Traditional NameXi Columbae
Alternative NamesKsi Col, HD 40176, HIP 28010, HR 2087
Spectral TypeK1IIICN...
Constellation's Main StarNo
Multiple Star SystemNo / Unknown
Star TypeGiant Star
Colour orange to red
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationColumba
Absolute Magnitude -0.05 / -0.07
Visual / Apparent Magnitude4.97
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)05h 55m 29.89
Declination (Dec.)-37° 07` 14.2
Galactic Latitude-26.53 degrees
Galactic Longitude243.07 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth9.93 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 328.46 Light Years
 100.70 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth9.80 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 332.82 Light Years
 102.04 Parsecs
 21,047,114.17 Astronomical Units
Galacto-Centric Distance24,273.08 Light Years / 7,442.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.-25.35 ± 0.31 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.36.90 ± 0.37 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index1.10
Radial Velocity59.50 ± 2.80 km/s
Eccentricity0.37
Semi-Major Axis5031.00
Stellar Luminosity (Lsun)143.77

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts


Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Estimated Facts


Calculated Effective Temperature4,664 Kelvin

Sources and Links


SIMBAD SourceLink

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