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Zeta Pictoris, HD35072, HIP24829, HR1767

Primary Facts on Zeta Pictoris

  • Zeta Pictoris's star type is subgiant star that can be located in the constellation of Pictor. The description is based on the spectral class.
  • Zeta Pictoris is not part of the constellation outline but is within the borders of the constellation.
  • Based on the spectral type (F7III-IV) of the star, the star's colour is blue to white .
  • 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.
  • Using the most recent figures given by the 2007 Hipparcos data, the star is 116.49 light years away from us.

Zeta Pictoris's Alternative Names

Zeta Pictoris (Zet Pic) is the Bayer Classification for the star. The Id of the star in the Yale Bright Star Catalogue is HR1767. 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.

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

Location of Zeta Pictoris

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 Pictoris, the location is 05h 19m 22.11 and -50° 36` 23.5 .

Radial Velocity and 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.

The Radial Velocity, that is the speed at which the star is moving away/towards the Sun is 43.80 km/s with an error of about 0.20 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.

Zeta Pictoris 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 7.38 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 Pictoris

Zeta Pictoris has a spectral type of F7III-IV. This means the star is a blue to white subgiant star. The star is 7,406.00 Parsecs from the Galactic Centre or in terms of Light Years is 24,155.66 s. 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. 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 2.32. 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.

Using the 2007 distance, the star is roughly 7,365,664.91 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 7,406.00 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.

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Additional Zeta Pictoris Facts and Figures

Visual Facts


Primary / Proper / Traditional NameZeta Pictoris
Alternative NamesZet Pic, HD 35072, HIP 24829, HR 1767
Spectral TypeF7III-IV
Constellation's Main StarNo
Multiple Star SystemNo / Unknown
Star TypeSubgiant Star
Colour blue to white
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationPictor
Age2.20 Billion Years Old
Age Range2.10 - 2.30 Billion Years Old
Absolute Magnitude 2.65 / 2.68
Visual / Apparent Magnitude5.44
Naked Eye VisibleYes - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)05h 19m 22.11
Declination (Dec.)-50° 36` 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 Distance from Earth28.00 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 116.49 Light Years
 35.71 Parsecs
 7,365,664.91 Astronomical Units
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
Eccentricity0.19
Semi-Major Axis6561.00
Stellar Luminosity (Lsun)7.38

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts


Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Estimated Facts


Calculated Effective Temperature6,243 Kelvin

Sources and Links


SIMBAD SourceLink

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