Universe Guide


Zeta Pictoris, HD35072, HIP24829

Zeta Pictoris is a blue to white subgiant star that can be located in the constellation of Pictor. Zeta Pictoris is the brightest star in Pictor based on the Hipparcos 2007 apparent magnitude. 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 2.20 Billion of Years but could be as young as 2.10 to 2.30 according to Hipparcos.

Zeta Pictoris is the Bayer Classification for the star. HIP24829 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD35072.

Location of Zeta Pictoris

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 Pictoris, the location is 05h 19m 22.11 and -50d36`23.5 .

Proper Motion of Zeta Pictoris

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 227.43 ± 0.24 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and 23.64 ± 0.23 miliarcseconds/year east if we saw them in the horizon.

Physical Properties (Colour, Temperature, Age, Radius) of Zeta Pictoris

Zeta Pictoris has a spectral type of F7III-IV. This means the star is a blue to white subgiant star. The star is 7406.00000000 Parsecs from the Galactic Centre or terms of Light Years is 24155.6572566400000000s. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 0.51 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 6,243 Kelvin.

Zeta Pictoris Radius has been calculated as being 2.36 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 1,638,985.62.km. However with the 2007 release of updated Hipparcos files, the radius is now calculated at being round 2.32. 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 0.06 with an error value of 0.03 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 2.20 Billion years old but could be between 2.10 and 2.30 Billion years old. In comparison, the Sun's age is about 4.6 Billion Years Old.

Zeta Pictoris Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Zeta Pictoris has an apparent magnitude of 5.44 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 2.65 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 2.68. 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 Pictoris

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 27.70 which gave the calculated distance to Zeta Pictoris as 117.75 light years away from Earth or 36.10 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 117.75 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 28.00 which put Zeta Pictoris at a distance of 116.49 light years or 35.71 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 7,406.00 Parsecs or 24,155.66 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.

Zeta Pictoris Facts

Alternative Names

Bayer DesignationZeta Pictoris
Hipparcos Library I.D.24829
Henry Draper Designation35072

Visual Facts

Star Typesubgiant star
Age2.20 Billion Years Old
Age Range2.10 - 2.30 Billion Years Old
Absolute Magnitude2.65 / 2.68
Visual / Apparent Magnitude5.44
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)05h 19m 22.11
Declination (Dec.)-50d36`23.5
Galactic Latitude-34.98 degrees
Galactic Longitude257.46 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth27.70 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 117.75 Light Years
 36.10 Parsecs
2007 Revised Distance from Earth28.00 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 116.49 Light Years
 35.71 Parsecs
Galacto-Centric Distance24,155.66 Light Years / 7,406.00 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.227.43 ± 0.24 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.23.64 ± 0.23 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index0.51
Radial Velocity43.80 ± 0.20 km/s
Iron Abundance0.06 ± 0.03 Fe/H
Spectral TypeF7III-IV
Colour(F) blue to white

Estimated Facts

Calculated Effective Temperature6,243 Kelvin

Sources and Links

SIMBAD SourceLink

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