Iota Persei

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Places in Fenspace
Iota Persei
Stellar characteristics
Right ascension (Epoch J2000)03h 09m 04.0s
Declination (Epoch J2000)+49° 36' 47.8"
Spectral typeG0 V
Distance from Sol34.4 ly
Other designationsIot Per, HR 937*, Gl 124, Hip 14632, HD 19373, BD+49 857, SAO 38597, FK5 112, LHS 166, LTT 11020, LFT 256, Hei4.
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Iota Persei is located about 34.4 light-years from Sol. It lies in the northern part of the constellation Perseus, the mythical Greek Hero who uses the Gorgon Medusa's severed head to change Cetus into stone. Iota Persei is a yellow-orange main sequence dwarf star of spectral and luminosity type G0 V. Bigger and brighter than Sol, the star may have as much as 1.3 times Sol's mass, around 1.08 times its diameter[1], and 2.2 times its luminosity. It appears to be 1.08 times as enriched than Sol in elements heavier than hydrogen ("metals") based on its abundance of iron[2].

Based on chromospheric activity, Iota Persei appears to be around 8.1 billion years old -- much older than Sol's 4.6 billion years[3]. According to the the Astronomiches Rechen-Institut at Heidelberg's ARICNS, the star is a suspected "a double" catalogued as Hei4, but the evidence is "far from solid" [4]. Highly evolved with a lot of helium ash at its core, the star is close to becoming a subgiant[4].

Past radial velocity analysis suggests that giant planets of one tenth to 10 times the mass of Jupiter do not exist within 0.1 to four AUs of Iota Persei[5]. If so, then conditions would be more favorable for the existence of stable orbit for an Earth-like planet (with liquid water) centered around 1.5 AU from around Iota Persei -- around the orbital distance of Mars in the Solar System. Such a planet would have an orbital period of around 1.6 years.

(Data from


  1. (Pasinetti-Fracassini et al, 2001; Blackwell and Lynas-Gray, 1994; and Johnson and Wright, 1983, page 653)
  2. (B.J. Taylor, 2003)
  3. (Don C. Barry, 1988, page 438)
  4. 4.0 4.1 (Wulff Dietz Heintz, 1988, page 1074, see: BD+49 857)
  5. (Cummings et al, 1999)