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Zeta Centauri - HD121263 - HIP68002

Zeta Centauri is a blue subgiant star that can be located in the constellation of Centaurus. Zeta Centauri is the Bayer Classification for the star. HIP68002 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD121263. The Id of the star in the Gould Star Catalogue is 289. Stars in the southern hemisphere are more likely to have a Gould Id than the northern hemisphere. For example, there are no Gould classified stars in Ursa Major.

Location of Zeta Centauri

The location of the star in the galaxy 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 Zeta Centauri, the location is 13h 55m 32.43 and -47d17`17.8 .

Proper Motion of Zeta Centauri

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 -044.55 ± 000.08 towards the north and -057.37 ± 000.13 east if we saw them in the horizon.

Physical Properties (Colour, Temperature, Radius) of Zeta Centauri

Zeta Centauri has a spectral type of B2.5IV. This means the star is a blue subgiant star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of -0.17 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 14,786 Kelvin.

Zeta Centauri has been calculated as 5.19 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 3,611,719.50.km.

Zeta Centauri Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Zeta Centauri has an apparent magnitude of 2.55 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 -2.81 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of -2.79. 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 Zeta Centauri

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 8.48 which gave the calculated distance to Zeta Centauri as 384.63 light years away from Earth or 117.92 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 384.63 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 8.54 which put Zeta Centauri at a distance of 381.92 light years or 117.10 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.

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 Stellar Age, Metallicity or Mass is from the E.U. Exoplanets. The information was obtained as of 12th Feb 2017.

Zeta Centauri Facts

Alternative Names

Bayer DesignationZeta Centauri
Hipparcos Library I.D.68002
Gould I.D.289
Henry Draper Designation121263

Visual Facts

Star Typesubgiant star
Absolute Magnitude-2.81 / -2.79
Apparent Magnitude2.55
Right Ascension (R.A.)13h 55m 32.43
Declination (Dec.)-47d17`17.8
1997 Distance from Earth8.48 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 384.63 Light Years
 117.92 Parsecs
2007 Revised Distance from Earth8.54 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 381.92 Light Years
 117.10 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.-44.55 ± 0.08 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-57.37 ± 0.13 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index-0.17
Spectral TypeB2.5IV
Colour(B) blue

Estimated Facts

Radius (x the Sun)5.19
Calculated Effective Temperature14,786 Kelvin

Sources and Links

SIMBAD SourceLink

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