Pi 3 Orionis

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Pi3 Orionis
Stellar characteristics
Right ascension (Epoch J2000)04h 49m 50.41s
Declination (Epoch J2000)+06° 57' 40.59"
Spectral typeF6 V
Distance from Sol26.2 ly
Other designationsTabit, Pi3 Ori, 1 Ori, HR 1543*, Gl 178, Hip 22449, HD 30652, BD+06 762, SAO 112106, FK5 1134, LTT 11517.
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Wikipedia data-dump, as of 10 January 2013

Pi3 Orionis3 Ori, π3 Orionis) is the Bayer designation for a star in the celestial equatorial constellation of Orion. It has the traditional name of Tabit and the Flamsteed designation 1 Orionis. In Western astronomy, Pi3 Orionis is the brightest star in the lion's hide (or shield) that Orion is holding. In Chinese astronomy, it is part of asterism 參旗 (Shēn Qí, "Banner of Three Stars").

At an apparent visual magnitude of 3.16, it is readily visible to the naked eye. The distance to this star, as measured using the parallax technique, is 26.32 ly.

Pi3 Orionis is a main-sequence star of spectral type F6 V. Since 1943, the spectrum of this star has served as one of the stable anchor points by which other stars are classified. Compared to the Sun, it has about 124% of the mass, 132% of the radius, and nearly 3 times the luminosity. This energy is being radiated from the star's outer atmosphere at an effective temperature of 6,516 K, giving it the yellow-white glow of an F-type star. Pi3 Orionis is most likely single; a nearby star is probably an optical companion.

SolStation data-dump

Pi(3) Orionis is a (possibly multiple) star system located about 26.2 light-years away from our Sun, Sol. It lies at the western edge of the constellation Orion, the Hunter. This star is a white-yellow main sequence dwarf star of spectral and luminosity type F6 V, with maybe 1.3 times Sol's mass, 1.3 times its diameter[1], and three times of its luminosity. It may be anywhere from 20 to 151 percent as enriched as Sol with elements heavier than hydrogen ("metallicity"), based on its abundance of iron[2].

Pi(3) Orionis A is a New Suspected Variable designated NSV 1731. Star A has a probable optical companion[3] and may have a spectroscopic companion that speckle interferometry has not been able to resolve[4].

The distance from star A where an Earth-type planet would be "comfortable" with liquid water is centered around 1.7 AU -- beyond the orbital distance of Mars in the Solar System. Astronomers are hoping to use NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) and the ESA's Darwin planned groups of observatories to search for a rocky inner planet in the so-called "habitable zone" (HZ) around Pi3 Orionis. As currently planned, the TPF will include two complementary observatory groups: a visible-light coronagraph to launch around 2014; and a "formation-flying" infrared interferometer to launch before 2020, while Darwin will launch a flotilla of three mid-infrared telescopes and a fourth communications hub beginning in 2015.

Pi3 Orionis in Fenspace

  • Planet "Qo’noS" discovered by Klingon scouts in 2022, chosen to become the "Klingon homeworld."


  1. (Perrin and Karoji, 1987)
  2. (Cayrel de Strobel et al, 1991, page 10)
  3. (Abt and Levy, 1976, page 20)
  4. (Hartkopf and McAlister, 1984)