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Z Serpentis, HIP74704

Primary Facts on Z Serpentis

  • Z Serpentis's star type is pulsating giant star that can be located in the constellation of Serpens. The description is based on the spectral class.
  • Z Serpentis is not part of the constellation outline but is within the borders of the constellation.
  • Based on the spectral type (M5III) of the star, the star's colour is red .
  • The star can not be seen by the naked eye, you need a telescope to see it.
  • Using the most recent figures given by the 2007 Hipparcos data, the star is 886.31 light years away from us.

Z Serpentis's Alternative Names

HIP74704 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue.

Z Serpentis has alternative name(s) :- , Z Ser.

BD number is the number that the star was filed under in the Durchmusterung or Bonner Durchmusterung, a star catalogue that was put together by the Bonn Observatory between 1859 to 1903. The star's BD Number is BD+02 2940.

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

Location of Z Serpentis

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 Z Serpentis, the location is 15h 16m 02.71 and +02° 10` 04.5 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of Z Serpentis

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 -0.27 ± 0.81 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and -14.21 ± 1.47 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 -25.00 km/s with an error of about 4.60 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.

Physical Properties (Colour, Temperature) of Z Serpentis

Z Serpentis has a spectral type of M5III. This means the star is a red giant star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 1.59 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 3,804 Kelvin.

Z Serpentis Radius has been calculated as being 9.00 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 6,264,526.61.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 8.96. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and has been known to produce widely incorrect figures.

Z Serpentis Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Z Serpentis has an apparent magnitude of 9.07 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 1.89 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 1.90. 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 Z Serpentis

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 3.66 which gave the calculated distance to Z Serpentis as 891.16 light years away from Earth or 273.22 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 891.16 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 3.68 which put Z Serpentis at a distance of 886.31 light years or 271.74 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 56,050,007.89 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.

Variable Type of Z Serpentis

The star is a pulsating Semi-Regular Star w variable type which means that its size changes over time. The Variable Type is usually named after the first star of that type to be spotted. Z Serpentis brightness ranges from a magnitude of 9.309 to a magnitude of 8.660 over its variable period. The smaller the magnitude, the brighter the star. Its variable/pulsating period lasts for 0.5 days (variability).

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 Z Serpentis Facts and Figures

Visual Facts

Primary / Proper / Traditional NameZ Serpentis
Alternative NamesHIP 74704, BD+02 2940, Z Ser
Spectral TypeM5III
Constellation's Main StarNo
Multiple Star SystemNo / Unknown
Star TypeGiant Star
Colour red
GalaxyMilky Way
Absolute Magnitude 1.89 / 1.90
Visual / Apparent Magnitude9.07
Naked Eye VisibleRequires a 7x50 Binoculars - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)15h 16m 02.71
Declination (Dec.)+02° 10` 04.5
Galactic Latitude47.34 degrees
Galactic Longitude3.38 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth3.66 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 891.16 Light Years
 273.22 Parsecs
2007 Distance from Earth3.68 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 886.31 Light Years
 271.74 Parsecs
 56,050,007.89 Astronomical Units
Proper Motion Dec.-0.27 ± 0.81 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-14.21 ± 1.47 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index1.59
Radial Velocity-25.00 ± 4.60 km/s

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts

Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Variable Star Details

Variable Star ClassPulsating
Variable Star TypeSemi-Regular Star w
Mean Variability Period in Days0.468
Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)8.660 - 9.309

Estimated Facts

Calculated Effective Temperature3,804 Kelvin

Sources and Links

SIMBAD SourceLink

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