61 Virginis

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Places in Fenspace
61 Virginis
Stellar characteristics
Right ascension (Epoch J2000)13h 18m 24.31s
Declination (Epoch J2000)-18° 18' 40.31"
Spectral typeG5-6 V
Distance from Sol27.8 ly
Other designations61 Vir, HR 5019, Gl 506, Hip 64924, HD 115617, BD-17 3813, SAO 157844, FK5 1345, LHS 349, LTT 5111, LPM 467, LFT 990, GC 18007.
Planets61 Virginis b
61 Virginis c
61 Virginis d
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61 Virginis is located about 27.8 light-years from Sol. It lies at the southern edge of the constellation Virgo, the Maiden. It is visible to unaided Human eyes under a dark sky, particularly during the Spring in the northern hemisphere.

61 Virginis is a yellow-orange main sequence dwarf of spectral and luminosity type G5-6 V, with about 92 to 96 percent of Sol's mass[1], 94 to 98 percent of its diameter[2], and around 78 percent of its visual luminosity and nearly 81 percent of its theoretical bolometric luminosity, with infrared radiation[3]. The star may be as much as 1.1 times as enriched as Sol with elements heavier than hydrogen ("metallicity"), based on its abundance of iron[4]. It appears to be "an old, inactive star" of 6.3 to 9.0 billion years in age[5][6]. Over 16 years of photometric observations indicate that 61 Virginis is photometically stable [5].

According to astronomers working with the Spitzer Space Telescope, a thick belt of dust (that is probably being generated by collisions between Edgeworth-Kuiper-Belt-type, icy objects) lies some 96 ± 5 to 195 ± 10 AUs out from the star, assuming that the emitting bodies are black bodies[7][8][5]. Assuming that the infrared emissions are from from silicate grains at 0.25 micrometers, however, the disk would be located at an outer orbit of 120 ± 20 to 220 ± 10 AUs[5]. Cold dust particles have been detected at 160 micrometers[8]. However, there has been previous detection of warmer but still cool, if relatively more luminous infrared excesses at 70 micrometers that is probably generated by dust located beyond 10 AUs from the star [7][9].

The orbit of an Earth-like planet (with liquid water) around this star would be centered around 0.9 AU -- inside the orbital distance of Earth in the Solar System -- with an orbital period of around 317 days, or about 87 percent of an Earth yea

Known Places around 61 Virginis

61 Virginis d
  • 61 Virginis b: Orbits at a range of about 0.050 AUs with a period of 4.2 days. It is believed to be a rocky planet with approximately 5.1 times Earth's mass.
  • 61 Virginis c: Orbits at a range of about 0.281 AUs with a period of 38.0 days. It is believed to be a Neptune class planet roughly 18.2 times Earth's mass. Whether it is a rocky or gaseous planet is not known.
  • 61 Virginis d: Orbits at a range of about 0.476 AUs with a period of 124.0 days. It is believed to be a gaseous Neptune class planet about 24.0 times Earth's mass.

Their orbits put all three planets well inside of the distance at which Venus orbits the sun and not in 61 Virginis' liquid water zone.

(Data from SolStation.com)


  1. (95 percent using the isochrone mass estimate of Valenti and Fischer, 2005; and NASA Star and Exoplanet Database, based on David F. Gray, 1992)
  2. (96 percent for Valenti and Fischer, 2005; Johnson and Wright, 1983, page 677; and NASA Star and Exoplanet Database, based on Kenneth R. Lang, 1980)
  3. (Sousa et al, 2008; Valenti and Fischer, 2005; NASA Star and Exoplanet Database, based on Kenneth R. Lang, 1980)
  4. (NASA Star and Exoplanet Database from Valenti and Fischer, 2005; and Cayrel de Strobel et al, 1991, page 295)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 (Vogt et al, 2009)
  6. (Takeda et al, 2007; and Valenti and Fischer, 2005)
  7. 7.0 7.1 (Bryden et al, 2009)
  8. 8.0 8.1 (Tanner et al, 2009)
  9. (Trilling et al, 2008)