61 Cygni B

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61 Cygni B
Stellar characteristics
Right ascension (Epoch J2000)21h 08m 52.1s
Declination (Epoch J2000)+38° 56' 51.0"
Spectral typeK4.7-7.0 Ve
Distance from Sol11.4 ly
Other designationsHR 8086, Gl 820 B, Hip 104217, HD 201092, BD+38 4344, LHS 63, Struve 2758 B, ADS 14636 B.
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61 Cygni was christened the "Flying Star" in 1792 by Giuseppe Piazzi (1746-1826) for its unusually large proper motion. In 1830, Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve (1793-1864) made the first measurements of the star as a binary system. It is now known that 61 Cygni A and B orbit each other at an "average" distance (semi-major axis) of 86.4 times the Earth-Sun distance, or about 86 AUs -- which is more than twice Pluto's orbital distance in the Solar System. 61 Cygni was the first star system to have its distance to Earth successfully calculated by Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel (1784-1846) using trigonometric parallax and the diameter of the Earth's orbit around the Sun in 1838. Smaller and dimmer than Sol, the stars are barely visible with the naked eye.

61 Cygni B is a orange-red main sequence dwarf star of spectral and luminosity type K4.7-7.0 Ve. This star has about 63 percent of Sol's mass (RECONS), 67 percent of its diameter (Johnson and Wright, 1983, page 699), and about 3.9 percent of its luminosity. Dust has also been found around this star, which appears to be a variable and has been given the New Suspected Variable designation NSV 13546.

Accounting for infrared heating, the distance from 61 Cygni B where an Earth-type planet would be "comfortable" with liquid water is centered around only 0.34 AU -- about half of Mercury's orbital distance in the Solar System. At that distance from the star, such a planet would have an orbital period of about 91 days -- just over three months on Earth.

(Boilerplate from SolStation.com)