Right ascension is the angular distance measured eastward along the celestial equator from the vernal equinox to the hour circle of the point in question. When combined with declination, these astronomical coordinates specify the direction of a point on the sphere in the equatorial coordinate system. Right ascension is the equivalent of terrestrial longitude. Both right ascension and longitude measure an angle from a direction on an equator. Right ascension is measured continuously in a circle from that equinox towards the east. Any units of measure could have been chosen for right ascension, but it is customarily measured in hours, minutes. Astronomers have chosen this unit to measure right ascension because they measure a stars location by timing its passage through the highest point in the sky as the Earth rotates. The highest point in the sky, called meridian, is the projection of a line onto the celestial sphere. A full circle, measured in units, contains 24 × 60 × 60 = 86 400s, or 24 × 60 = 1 440m.
Because right ascensions are measured in hours, they can be used to time the positions of objects in the sky. For example, if a star with RA = 01h 30m 00s is on the meridian, sidereal hour angle, used in celestial navigation, is similar to right ascension, but increases westward rather than eastward. Usually measured in degrees, it is the complement of right ascension with respect to 24h and it is important not to confuse sidereal hour angle with the astronomical concept of hour angle, which measures angular distance of an object westward from the local meridian. The Earths axis rotates slowly westward about the poles of the ecliptic and this effect, known as precession, causes the coordinates of stationary celestial objects to change continuously, if rather slowly. Therefore, equatorial coordinates are inherently relative to the year of their observation, coordinates from different epochs must be mathematically rotated to match each other, or to match a standard epoch. The right ascension of Polaris is increasing quickly, the North Ecliptic Pole in Draco and the South Ecliptic Pole in Dorado are always at right ascension 18h and 6h respectively.
The currently used standard epoch is J2000.0, which is January 1,2000 at 12,00 TT, the prefix J indicates that it is a Julian epoch. Prior to J2000.0, astronomers used the successive Besselian Epochs B1875.0, B1900.0, the concept of right ascension has been known at least as far back as Hipparchus who measured stars in equatorial coordinates in the 2nd century BC. But Hipparchus and his successors made their star catalogs in ecliptic coordinates, the easiest way to do that is to use an equatorial mount, which allows the telescope to be aligned with one of its two pivots parallel to the Earths axis
A star catalogue or star catalog, is an astronomical catalogue that lists stars. In astronomy, many stars are referred to simply by catalogue numbers, there are a great many different star catalogues which have been produced for different purposes over the years, and this article covers only some of the more frequently quoted ones. Star catalogues were compiled by many different ancient peoples, including the Babylonians, Chinese, most modern catalogues are available in electronic format and can be freely downloaded from space agencies data center. Completeness and accuracy is described by the weakest apparent magnitude V, from their existing records, it is known that the ancient Egyptians recorded the names of only a few identifiable constellations and a list of thirty-six decans that were used as a star clock. They are better known by their Assyrian-era name Three Stars Each and these star catalogues, written on clay tablets, listed thirty-six stars, twelve for Anu along the celestial equator, twelve for Ea south of that, and twelve for Enlil to the north.
In Ancient Greece, the astronomer and mathematician Eudoxus laid down a set of the classical constellations around 370 BC. His catalogue Phaenomena, rewritten by Aratus of Soli between 275 and 250 BC as a poem, became one of the most consulted astronomical texts in antiquity. It contains descriptions of the positions of the stars, the shapes of the constellations, approximately in the 3rd century BC, the Greek astronomers Timocharis of Alexandria and Aristillus created another star catalogue. Hipparchus completed his star catalogue in 129 BC, which he compared to Timocharis and this led him to determine the first value of the precession of the equinoxes. In the 2nd century, Ptolemy of Roman Egypt published a star catalogue as part of his Almagest, ptolemys catalogue was based almost entirely on an earlier one by Hipparchus. It remained the star catalogue in the Western and Arab worlds for over eight centuries. The earliest known inscriptions for Chinese star names were written on oracle bones, sources dating from the Zhou Dynasty which provide star names include the Zuo Zhuan, the Shi Jing, and the Canon of Yao in the Book of Documents.
The Lüshi Chunqiu written by the Qin statesman Lü Buwei provides most of the names for the twenty-eight mansions, an earlier lacquerware chest found in the Tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng contains a complete list of the names of the twenty-eight mansions. Star catalogues are traditionally attributed to Shi Shen and Gan De, the Shi Shen astronomy is attributed to Shi Shen, and the Astronomic star observation to Gan De. It was not until the Han Dynasty that astronomers started to observe and record names for all the stars that were apparent in the night sky, not just those around the ecliptic. A star catalogue is featured in one of the chapters of the late 2nd-century-BC history work Records of the Grand Historian by Sima Qian and contains the schools of Shi Shen and Gan Des work. For his Spiritual Constitution of the Universe of 120 AD, the astronomer Zhang Heng compiled a star catalogue comprising 124 constellations, Chinese constellation names were adopted by the Koreans and Japanese. A large number of star catalogues were published by Muslim astronomers in the medieval Islamic world and these were mainly Zij treatises, including Arzachels Tables of Toledo, the Maragheh observatorys Zij-i Ilkhani and Ulugh Begs Zij-i-Sultani
A constellation is formally defined as a region of the celestial sphere, with boundaries laid down by the International Astronomical Union. The constellation areas mostly had their origins in Western-traditional patterns of stars from which the constellations take their names, in 1922, the International Astronomical Union officially recognized the 88 modern constellations, which cover the entire sky. They began as the 48 classical Greek constellations laid down by Ptolemy in the Almagest, Constellations in the far southern sky are late 16th- and mid 18th-century constructions. 12 of the 88 constellations compose the zodiac signs, though the positions of the constellations only loosely match the dates assigned to them in astrology. The term constellation can refer to the stars within the boundaries of that constellation. Notable groupings of stars that do not form a constellation are called asterisms, when astronomers say something is “in” a given constellation they mean it is within those official boundaries.
Any given point in a coordinate system can unambiguously be assigned to a single constellation. Many astronomical naming systems give the constellation in which an object is found along with a designation in order to convey a rough idea in which part of the sky it is located. For example, the Flamsteed designation for bright stars consists of a number, the word constellation seems to come from the Late Latin term cōnstellātiō, which can be translated as set of stars, and came into use in English during the 14th century. It denotes 88 named groups of stars in the shape of stellar-patterns, the Ancient Greek word for constellation was ἄστρον. Colloquial usage does not draw a distinction between constellation in the sense of an asterism and constellation in the sense of an area surrounding an asterism. The modern system of constellations used in astronomy employs the latter concept, the term circumpolar constellation is used for any constellation that, from a particular latitude on Earth, never sets below the horizon.
From the North Pole or South Pole, all constellations south or north of the equator are circumpolar constellations. In the equatorial or temperate latitudes, the term equatorial constellation has sometimes been used for constellations that lie to the opposite the circumpolar constellations. They generally include all constellations that intersect the celestial equator or part of the zodiac, usually the only thing the stars in a constellation have in common is that they appear near each other in the sky when viewed from the Earth. In galactic space, the stars of a constellation usually lie at a variety of distances, since stars travel on their own orbits through the Milky Way, the star patterns of the constellations change slowly over time. After tens to hundreds of thousands of years, their familiar outlines will become unrecognisable, the terms chosen for the constellation themselves, together with the appearance of a constellation, may reveal where and when its constellation makers lived.
The earliest direct evidence for the constellations comes from inscribed stones and it seems that the bulk of the Mesopotamian constellations were created within a relatively short interval from around 1300 to 1000 BC
A star is a luminous sphere of plasma held together by its own gravity. The nearest star to Earth is the Sun, many other stars are visible to the naked eye from Earth during the night, appearing as a multitude of fixed luminous points in the sky due to their immense distance from Earth. Historically, the most prominent stars were grouped into constellations and asterisms, astronomers have assembled star catalogues that identify the known stars and provide standardized stellar designations. However, most of the stars in the Universe, including all stars outside our galaxy, most are invisible from Earth even through the most powerful telescopes. Almost all naturally occurring elements heavier than helium are created by stellar nucleosynthesis during the stars lifetime, near the end of its life, a star can contain degenerate matter. Astronomers can determine the mass, age and many properties of a star by observing its motion through space, its luminosity. The total mass of a star is the factor that determines its evolution.
Other characteristics of a star, including diameter and temperature, change over its life, while the environment affects its rotation. A plot of the temperature of stars against their luminosities produces a plot known as a Hertzsprung–Russell diagram. Plotting a particular star on that allows the age and evolutionary state of that star to be determined. A stars life begins with the collapse of a gaseous nebula of material composed primarily of hydrogen, along with helium. When the stellar core is sufficiently dense, hydrogen becomes steadily converted into helium through nuclear fusion, the remainder of the stars interior carries energy away from the core through a combination of radiative and convective heat transfer processes. The stars internal pressure prevents it from collapsing further under its own gravity, a star with mass greater than 0.4 times the Suns will expand to become a red giant when the hydrogen fuel in its core is exhausted. In some cases, it will fuse heavier elements at the core or in shells around the core, as the star expands it throws a part of its mass, enriched with those heavier elements, into the interstellar environment, to be recycled as new stars.
Meanwhile, the core becomes a remnant, a white dwarf. Binary and multi-star systems consist of two or more stars that are bound and generally move around each other in stable orbits. When two such stars have a close orbit, their gravitational interaction can have a significant impact on their evolution. Stars can form part of a much larger gravitationally bound structure, stars have been important to civilizations throughout the world
Hercules is a constellation named after Hercules, the Greek mythological hero adapted from the Greek hero Heracles. Hercules was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy and it is the fifth largest of the modern constellations. Hercules is bordered by Draco to the north, Boötes, Corona Borealis, and Serpens Caput to the east, Ophiuchus to the south, Aquila to the southwest, and Sagitta and Lyra to the west. Covering 1225.1 square degrees and 2. 970% of the night sky, the three-letter abbreviation for the constellation, as adopted by the International Astronomical Union in 1922, is Her. The official constellation boundaries, as set by Eugène Delporte in 1930, are defined by a polygon of 32 segments, in mid-northern latitudes, Hercules is best observed from mid-Spring until the early part of the Fall season, culminating at midnight on June 13. The solar apex is the direction of the Suns motion with respect to the Local Standard of Rest and this is located within the constellation of Hercules, around coordinates Right Ascension 18h 00m and Declination 30°.
The north pole of the coordinate system is located within this constellation at Right Ascension 18h 55m 01s. Hercules has no first or second magnitude stars, however, it does have several stars above magnitude 4. Alpha Herculis, traditionally called Rasalgethi, is a star system. The primary is a variable star, it is a bright giant with a minimum magnitude of 4. It has a diameter of roughly 400 solar diameters, the secondary, a spectroscopic binary that orbits the primary every 3600 years, is a blue-green hued star of magnitude 5.6. Its common name means the kneelers head, Beta Herculis, called Kornephoros, is the brightest star in Hercules. It is a giant of magnitude 2.8,148 light-years from Earth. Deltoide 5512 is a double star divisible in amateur telescopes. The primary is a star of magnitude 3.1. The optical companion is of magnitude 8.2, gamma Herculis is a double star divisible in small amateur telescopes. The primary is a giant of magnitude 3.8,195 light-years from Earth. The optical companion, widely separated, is 10th magnitude, zeta Herculis is a binary star that is becoming divisible in medium-aperture amateur telescopes, as the components widen to their peak in 2025
In astronomy, declination is one of the two angles that locate a point on the celestial sphere in the equatorial coordinate system, the other being hour angle. Declinations angle is measured north or south of the celestial equator, the root of the word declination means a bending away or a bending down. It comes from the root as the words incline and recline. Declination in astronomy is comparable to geographic latitude, projected onto the celestial sphere, points north of the celestial equator have positive declinations, while those south have negative declinations. Any units of measure can be used for declination, but it is customarily measured in the degrees, minutes. Declinations with magnitudes greater than 90° do not occur, because the poles are the northernmost and southernmost points of the celestial sphere, the Earths axis rotates slowly westward about the poles of the ecliptic, completing one circuit in about 26,000 years. This effect, known as precession, causes the coordinates of stationary celestial objects to change continuously, equatorial coordinates are inherently relative to the year of their observation, and astronomers specify them with reference to a particular year, known as an epoch.
Coordinates from different epochs must be rotated to match each other. The currently used standard epoch is J2000.0, which is January 1,2000 at 12,00 TT, the prefix J indicates that it is a Julian epoch. Prior to J2000.0, astronomers used the successive Besselian Epochs B1875.0, B1900.0, the declinations of Solar System objects change very rapidly compared to those of stars, due to orbital motion and close proximity. This similarly occurs in the Southern Hemisphere for objects with less than −90° − φ. An extreme example is the star which has a declination near to +90°. Circumpolar stars never dip below the horizon, there are other stars that never rise above the horizon, as seen from any given point on the Earths surface. Generally, if a star whose declination is δ is circumpolar for some observer, a star whose declination is −δ never rises above the horizon, as seen by the same observer. Likewise, if a star is circumpolar for an observer at latitude φ, neglecting atmospheric refraction, declination is always 0° at east and west points of the horizon.
At the north point, it is 90° − |φ|, and at the south point, from the poles, declination is uniform around the entire horizon, approximately 0°. Non-circumpolar stars are visible only during certain days or seasons of the year, the Suns declination varies with the seasons. As seen from arctic or antarctic latitudes, the Sun is circumpolar near the summer solstice, leading to the phenomenon of it being above the horizon at midnight
Hipparcos was a scientific satellite of the European Space Agency, launched in 1989 and operated until 1993. It was the first space experiment devoted to precision astrometry, the measurement of the positions of celestial objects on the sky. This permitted the determination of proper motions and parallaxes of stars, allowing a determination of their distance. When combined with radial velocity measurements from spectroscopy, this pinpointed all six quantities needed to determine the motion of stars, the resulting Hipparcos Catalogue, a high-precision catalogue of more than 118,200 stars, was published in 1997. The lower-precision Tycho Catalogue of more than a million stars was published at the same time, Hipparcos follow-up mission, was launched in 2013. Problems were dominated by the effects of the Earths atmosphere, but were compounded by complex optical terms and gravitational instrument flexures, a formal proposal to make these exacting observations from space was first put forward in 1967.
Although originally proposed to the French space agency CNES, it was considered too complex and its acceptance within the European Space Agencys scientific programme, in 1980, was the result of a lengthy process of study and lobbying. The spacecraft carried a single all-reflective, eccentric Schmidt telescope, with an aperture of 29 cm, a special beam-combining mirror superimposed two fields of view,58 degrees apart, into the common focal plane. This complex mirror consisted of two mirrors tilted in opposite directions, each occupying half of the entrance pupil. The telescope used a system of grids, at the surface, composed of 2688 alternate opaque and transparent bands. The apparent angle between two stars in the fields of view, modulo the grid period, was obtained from the phase difference of the two star pulse trains. An additional photomultiplier system viewed a beam splitter in the path and was used as a star mapper. Its purpose was to monitor and determine the attitude, and in the process.
These measurements were made in two broad bands approximately corresponding to B and V in the UBV photometric system. The positions of these stars were to be determined to a precision of 0.03 arc-sec. The spacecraft spun around its Z-axis at the rate of 11.25 revolutions/day at an angle of 43° to the Sun, the Z-axis rotated about the sun-satellite line at 6.4 revolutions/year. The spacecraft consisted of two platforms and six panels, all made of aluminum honeycomb. The solar array consisted of three sections, generating around 300 W in total
The apparent magnitude of a celestial object is a number that is a measure of its brightness as seen by an observer on Earth. The brighter an object appears, the lower its magnitude value, the Sun, at apparent magnitude of −27, is the brightest object in the sky. It is adjusted to the value it would have in the absence of the atmosphere, the magnitude scale is logarithmic, a difference of one in magnitude corresponds to a change in brightness by a factor of 5√100, or about 2.512. The measurement of apparent magnitudes or brightnesses of celestial objects is known as photometry, apparent magnitudes are used to quantify the brightness of sources at ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths. An apparent magnitude is measured in a specific passband corresponding to some photometric system such as the UBV system. In standard astronomical notation, an apparent magnitude in the V filter band would be denoted either as mV or often simply as V, the scale used to indicate magnitude originates in the Hellenistic practice of dividing stars visible to the naked eye into six magnitudes.
The brightest stars in the sky were said to be of first magnitude, whereas the faintest were of sixth magnitude. Each grade of magnitude was considered twice the brightness of the following grade and this rather crude scale for the brightness of stars was popularized by Ptolemy in his Almagest, and is generally believed to have originated with Hipparchus. This implies that a star of magnitude m is 2.512 times as bright as a star of magnitude m +1 and this figure, the fifth root of 100, became known as Pogsons Ratio. The zero point of Pogsons scale was defined by assigning Polaris a magnitude of exactly 2. However, with the advent of infrared astronomy it was revealed that Vegas radiation includes an Infrared excess presumably due to a disk consisting of dust at warm temperatures. At shorter wavelengths, there is negligible emission from dust at these temperatures, however, in order to properly extend the magnitude scale further into the infrared, this peculiarity of Vega should not affect the definition of the magnitude scale.
Therefore, the scale was extrapolated to all wavelengths on the basis of the black body radiation curve for an ideal stellar surface at 11000 K uncontaminated by circumstellar radiation. On this basis the spectral irradiance for the zero magnitude point, with the modern magnitude systems, brightness over a very wide range is specified according to the logarithmic definition detailed below, using this zero reference. In practice such apparent magnitudes do not exceed 30, astronomers have developed other photometric zeropoint systems as alternatives to the Vega system. The AB magnitude zeropoint is defined such that an objects AB, the dimmer an object appears, the higher the numerical value given to its apparent magnitude, with a difference of 5 magnitudes corresponding to a brightness factor of exactly 100. Since an increase of 5 magnitudes corresponds to a decrease in brightness by a factor of exactly 100, each magnitude increase implies a decrease in brightness by the factor 5√100 ≈2.512.
Inverting the above formula, a magnitude difference m1 − m2 = Δm implies a brightness factor of F2 F1 =100 Δ m 5 =100.4 Δ m ≈2.512 Δ m
Beta Herculis, named Kornephoros, is a binary star and the brightest star in the northern constellation of Hercules at a base apparent visual magnitude of 2.81. This is a variable star with an apparent magnitude that may rise as high as 2.76. Based upon parallax measurements, it is located at a distance of 139 light-years from the Sun, at Palomar Observatory, Antoine Labeyrie and others used speckle interferometry with the Hale Telescope to resolve the system in 1977. The Hipparcos satellite observed the motion of the primary relative to other stars. The period of the system is around 410 days and they have a high orbital eccentricity of 0.55 and the orbital plane is inclined 53. 8° to the line of sight from the Earth. The primary star has a classification of G7 IIIa, indicating that it is a giant star that has exhausted the hydrogen at its core. It has a nearly three times the mass of the Sun, and has expanded to 17 times the Suns radius. The effective temperature of the outer envelope is about 4,887 K.
The secondary star has a mass only 90% that of the Sun, β Herculis is the stars Bayer designation. It bore the traditional names Kornephoros, a Greek word meaning club bearer, and Rutilicus, in 2016, the International Astronomical Union organized a Working Group on Star Names to catalogue and standardize proper names for stars. The WGSN approved the name Kornephoros for this star on 21 August 2016 and it was a member of the indigenous Arabic asterism al-Nasaq al-Shāmī, the Northern Line of al-Nasaqān the Two Lines, along with Gamma Herculis, Gamma Serpentis and Beta Serpentis. Consequently, Beta Herculis itself is known as 天市右垣一, represent Hézhōng, Hézhōng was westernized into Ho Chung by R. H. Allen, which means in the river. USS Rutilicus was a United States Navy Crater class cargo ship named after the star
Pi Herculis is a third-magnitude star in the constellation Hercules. As one of the four stars in the Keystone asterism is one of the more recognized in the constellation. It has an apparent visual magnitude of +3.2, which is visible to the naked eye, the Hipparcos satellite mission estimated its distance at roughly 115 parsecs from Earth, or about 377 light years away. The overall reduction in the visual magnitude due to extinction from the intervening matter is 0.11. Pi Herculis is a giant star with a stellar classification of K3 II. P. C. Keenan and R. E. Pitts graded it as a spectral type K3 IIab and it is sometimes listed with this alternate classification. The star is enormous compared to the Sun, having a mass that is 4.5 times solar, due to limb darkening, all giant and supergiant stars present unique challenges when measuring their photosphere. This orange-hued giant shines with 1,330 times the luminosity of the Sun and it is a low-amplitude photometric variable star showing a typical change of roughly 0.0054 in magnitude over a 24-hour period.
Low-amplitude radial velocity variations with a period of 613 days in the bright giant have suggested the presence of a substellar companion. If this is due to a low-mass object, such a companion would be as small as 0.027 Solar masses and 3 astronomical units away from the bright primary. A substellar companion is only one of several hypotheses to explain the stars behaviour, most likely the cause of the variation is weak pulsation of the stars atmosphere. On the other hand, a companion would orbit in a scorching region. In any case its likely that it would soon be swallowed up by the expanding giant, http, //stars. astro. illinois. edu/sow/piher. html http, //www. dibonsmith. com/her_p. htm Pi2 Ursae Majoris Beta Ophiuchi
In astronomy, stellar classification is the classification of stars based on their spectral characteristics. Electromagnetic radiation from the star is analyzed by splitting it with a prism or diffraction grating into a spectrum exhibiting the rainbow of colors interspersed with absorption lines, each line indicates an ion of a certain chemical element, with the line strength indicating the abundance of that ion. The relative abundance of the different ions varies with the temperature of the photosphere, the spectral class of a star is a short code summarizing the ionization state, giving an objective measure of the photospheres temperature and density. Most stars are classified under the Morgan–Keenan system using the letters O, B, A, F, G, K, and M. Each letter class is subdivided using a numeric digit with 0 being hottest and 9 being coolest. The sequence has been expanded with classes for other stars and star-like objects that do not fit in the system, such as class D for white dwarfs. In the MK system, a luminosity class is added to the class using Roman numerals.
This is based on the width of absorption lines in the stars spectrum. The full spectral class for the Sun is G2V, indicating a main-sequence star with a temperature around 5,800 K, the conventional color description takes into account only the peak of the stellar spectrum. This means that the assignment of colors of the spectrum can be misleading. There are no green, indigo, or violet stars, the brown dwarfs do not literally appear brown. The modern classification system is known as the Morgan–Keenan classification, each star is assigned a spectral class from the older Harvard spectral classification and a luminosity class using Roman numerals as explained below, forming the stars spectral type. The spectral classes O through M, as well as more specialized classes discussed later, are subdivided by Arabic numerals. For example, A0 denotes the hottest stars in the A class, fractional numbers are allowed, for example, the star Mu Normae is classified as O9.7. The Sun is classified as G2, the conventional color descriptions are traditional in astronomy, and represent colors relative to the mean color of an A-class star, which is considered to be white.
The apparent color descriptions are what the observer would see if trying to describe the stars under a dark sky without aid to the eye, or with binoculars. However, most stars in the sky, except the brightest ones, red supergiants are cooler and redder than dwarfs of the same spectral type, and stars with particular spectral features such as carbon stars may be far redder than any black body. O-, B-, and A-type stars are called early type