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ZZ Cephei - HD215661 - HIP112317

ZZ Cephei is a blue eclipsing star that can be located in the constellation of Cepheus. The star can not be seen by the naked eye, you need a telescope to see it.

HIP112317 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD215661.

ZZ Cephei has alternative name(s), ZZ_Cep.

Location of ZZ Cephei

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 ZZ Cephei, the location is 22h 45m 02.60 and +68d07`58.4 .

Proper Motion of ZZ Cephei

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 -8.39 ± 5.94 miliarcseconds/year towards the north and 4.63 ± 3.77 miliarcseconds/year east if we saw them in the horizon.

Physical Properties (Colour, Temperature, Radius) of ZZ Cephei

ZZ Cephei has a spectral type of A2p. This means the star is a blue star. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 0.28 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 6,889 Kelvin.

ZZ Cephei Radius has been calculated as being 2.07 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 1,442,284.44.km. However with the 2007 release of updated Hipparcos files, the radius is now calculated at being round 1.62. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and has been known to produce widely incorrect figures.

ZZ Cephei Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

ZZ Cephei has an apparent magnitude of 8.63 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 2.50 If you used the 2007 Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 3.03. 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 ZZ Cephei

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 5.95 which gave the calculated distance to ZZ Cephei as 548.17 light years away from Earth or 168.07 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 548.17 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 7.59 which put ZZ Cephei at a distance of 429.73 light years or 131.75 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.

Variable Type of ZZ Cephei

The star is a eclipsing Beta Persei (Algol)/Detached Main Sequence (subtype) 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. ZZ Cephei brightness ranges from a magnitude of 10.000 to a magnitude of 9.000 over its variable period. The smaller the magnitude, the brighter the star.

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.

ZZ Cephei Facts

Alternative Names

Traditional/Proper NameZZ Cephei
Short NameZZ Cep
Hipparcos Library I.D.112317
Bonner DurchmusterungBDD+67 1463
Henry Draper Designation215661

Visual Facts

Star Type star
Absolute Magnitude2.50 / 3.03
Visual / Apparent Magnitude8.63
Naked Eye VisibleRequires a 7x50 Binoculars - Ref: Wiki
Right Ascension (R.A.)22h 45m 02.60
Declination (Dec.)+68d07`58.4
Galactic Latitude8.10 degrees
Galactic Longitude111.56 degrees
1997 Distance from Earth5.95 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 548.17 Light Years
 168.07 Parsecs
2007 Revised Distance from Earth7.59 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 429.73 Light Years
 131.75 Parsecs
Proper Motion Dec.-8.39 ± 5.94 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.4.63 ± 3.77 milliarcseconds/year
B-V Index0.28
Radial Velocity-17.40 ± 7.40 km/s
Spectral TypeA2p
Colour(A) blue

Variable Star Details

Variable Star ClassEclipsing
Variable Star TypeBeta Persei (Algol)/Detached Main Sequence (subtype)
Variable Magnitude Range (Brighter - Dimmer)9.000 - 10.000

Estimated Facts

Calculated Effective Temperature6,889 Kelvin

Sources and Links

SIMBAD SourceLink

Related Stars

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
215661+67 1463.0A8.90000A2White
B10.200005.000007.000001849
C10.30000-3.0000046.00000G0Yellow1849

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