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Zeta Fornacis, HD18692, HIP13942, HR901

Zeta Fornacis is a blue to white main sequence dwarf star that can be located in the constellation of Fornax. The description is based on the spectral class. The star can be seen with the naked eye, that is, you don't need a telescope/binoculars to see it. The star has an estimated age of 1.00 Billion of Years but could be as young as 0.70 to 1.40 according to Hipparcos.

Zeta Fornacis's Alternative Names

Zeta Fornacis (Zet For) is the Bayer Classification for the star. The Id of the star in the Yale Bright Star Catalogue is HR901. HIP13942 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD18692.

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

Location of Zeta Fornacis

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 Zeta Fornacis, the location is 02h 59m 36.07 and -25° 16` 27.6 .

Proper Motion of Zeta Fornacis

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 83.44 ± 0.25 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and 181.15 ± 0.36 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 27.00000 km/s with an error of about 4.30 km/s .

Zeta Fornacis 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 4.87 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, Age) of Zeta Fornacis

Zeta Fornacis has a spectral type of F3V. This means the star is a blue to white main sequence dwarf star. The star is 7,413.00 Parsecs from the Galactic Centre or terms of Light Years is 24,178.49 s. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 0.42 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 6,635 Kelvin.

Zeta Fornacis Radius has been calculated as being 1.66 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 1,157,910.92.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 1.68. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and has been known to produce widely incorrect figures. The star's Iron Abundance is 0.10 with an error value of 0.08 Fe/H with the Sun has a value of 1 to put it into context.

The stars age according to Hipparcos data files put the star at an age of about 1.00 Billion years old but could be between 0.70 and 1.40 Billion years old. In comparison, the Sun's age is about 4.6 Billion Years Old.

Zeta Fornacis Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Zeta Fornacis has an apparent magnitude of 5.69 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 3.14 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 3.12. 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 Fornacis

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 30.92 which gave the calculated distance to Zeta Fornacis as 105.49 light years away from Earth or 32.34 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 105.49 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 30.66 which put Zeta Fornacis at a distance of 106.38 light years or 32.62 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.

The star's Galacto-Centric Distance is 7,413.00 Parsecs or 24,178.49 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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Zeta Fornacis Facts

Visual Facts


Primary / Proper / Traditional NameZeta Fornacis
Alternative NamesZet For, HD 18692, HIP 13942, HR 901
Spectral TypeF3V
Multiple Star SystemYes
Star Type main sequence Dwarf Star
Colour blue to white
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationFornax
Age1.00 Billion Years Old
Age Range0.70 - 1.40 Billion Years Old
Absolute Magnitude3.14 / 3.12
Visual / Apparent Magnitude5.69
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)02h 59m 36.07
Declination (Dec.)-25° 16` 27.6
Galactic Latitude-61.27 degrees
Galactic Longitude216.56 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth30.92 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 105.49 Light Years
 32.34 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth30.66 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 106.38 Light Years
 32.62 Parsecs
Galacto-Centric Distance24,178.49 Light Years / 7,413.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.83.44 ± 0.25 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.181.15 ± 0.36 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index0.42
Radial Velocity27.00 ± 4.30 km/s
Iron Abundance0.10 ± 0.08 Fe/H
Eccentricity0.11
Semi-Major Axis7271.00
Stellar Luminosity (Lsun)4.87

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts


Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Estimated Facts


Calculated Effective Temperature6,635 Kelvin

Sources and Links


SIMBAD SourceLink

Multi-Star System

The star has been identified as being a multi-star system, one in which there is at least one star in close orbit to another star or two or more stars orbiting a central point. The stars may be of equal mass, unequal mass where one star is stronger than the other or be in groups orbiting a central point which doesn't necessarily have to be a star. More information can be found on my dedicated multiple star systems page. The source of the info is Simbad. The file is dated 2000 so any differences between this and any other source will be down to the actual source from where the information came from.


Proper Motion mas/yr
H.D. IdB.D. IdStar CodeMagnitudeR.A.Dec.SpectrumColourYear
18692-25 1191.2A5.70000188.0000083.00000F2Yellow/White
B14.100001960

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