Epoch J2000 Equinox J2000
|Right ascension||16h 29m 24s|
|Declination||−26° 25′ 55″|
|Apparent magnitude (V)||+0.96|
|Spectral type||M1.5Iab-b + B2.5V|
|U−B color index||+1.34|
|B−V color index||+1.83|
|Radial velocity (Rv)||−3.4 km/s|
|Proper motion (μ)||RA: −12.11 mas/yr
Dec.: −23.30 mas/yr
|Parallax (π)||5.89 ± 1.00 mas|
|Distance||approx. 550 ly
(approx. 170 pc)
|Absolute magnitude (MV)||−5.28|
|Surface gravity (log g)||0.1 cgs|
|Temperature||3400 ± 200 K|
|Rotational velocity (v sin i)||20 km/s|
Antares, also known by its Bayer designation Alpha Scorpii (abbreviated to α Scorpii or α Sco), is the seventeenth brightest star in the nighttime sky[a] and the brightest star in the constellation Scorpius, and is often referred to as "the heart of the scorpion". Along with Aldebaran, Regulus, and Fomalhaut, Antares comprises the group known as the 'Royal stars of Persia'. It is one of the four brightest stars near the ecliptic.
Distinctly reddish when viewed with the unaided eye, Antares is a red supergiant of spectral type M2Iab and is one of the largest and most luminous observable stars. It is a slow irregular variable star with an average magnitude of +1.09. Antares is the brightest, most massive, and most evolved stellar member of the nearest OB association (the Scorpius-Centaurus Association). Antares is a member of the Upper Scorpius subgroup of the Scorpius-Centaurus Association, which contains thousands of stars with mean age 11 million years at a distance of approximately 145 parsecs (470 light years).
Antares is a supergiant star with a stellar classification of M1.5Iab-b. It has a radius of approximately 883 times that of the Sun; if it were placed in the center of our solar system, its outer surface would lie between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Based upon parallax measurements, Antares is approximately 550 light-years (170 parsecs) from the Earth. Its visual luminosity is about 10,000 times that of the Sun, but because the star radiates a considerable part of its energy in the infrared part of the spectrum, the bolometric luminosity equals roughly 65,000 times that of the Sun. The mass of the star has been calculated to be in the range of 15 to 18 solar masses. A recent analysis comparing the effective temperature and luminosity of Antares to theoretical evolutionary tracks for massive stars which include rotation and mass loss yielded a mass of approximately 17 solar masses and age of 12 million years old.
The size of Antares may be calculated using its parallax and angular diameter. The parallax angle is given in the box to the right, and the angular diameter is known from lunar occultation measurements (41.3 ± 0.1 mas). This implies a radius of 755 solar radii at 170pc.
Antares is visible in the sky all night around May 31 of each year, when the star is at opposition to the Sun. At this time, Antares rises at dusk and sets at dawn as seen at the equator. For approximately two to three weeks on either side of November 30, Antares is not visible in the night sky, because it is near conjunction with the Sun; this period of invisibility is longer in the Northern Hemisphere than in the Southern Hemisphere, since the star's declination is significantly south of the celestial equator.
Antares has a secondary, or companion star, Antares B, that changed from an angular separation (from its primary, Antares A) of 3.3 arcseconds in 1854 to 2.86 arcseconds in 1990. The last is equal to a projected separation of about 529 Astronomical Units (AU) at the estimated distance of Antares, giving a minimum value for the separation of the pair. Spectroscopic examination of the energy states in the outflow of matter from the companion star suggests that it is about 224 AU beyond the primary, giving a combined separation of about 574 AU. The stellar classification of this star is B2.5, with numerous spectral lines suggesting it has been polluted by matter ejected by Antares A. At magnitude 5.5, it is only 1/370th as bright visually as Antares A, although it shines with 170 times the Sun's luminosity.
The companion star is normally difficult to see in small telescopes due to glare from Antares A, but can sometimes be seen in apertures over 150 mm (5.9 in). The companion is often described as green, but this is probably either a contrast effect or the result of the mixing of light from the two stars when they are seen together through a telescope and are too close to be completely resolved. Antares B can sometimes be observed with a small telescope for a few seconds during lunar occultations while Antares A is hidden by the Moon. It was discovered by Johann Tobias Bürg during one such occultation on April 13, 1819, but until its existence was confirmed in 1846 it was thought by some to be merely the light of Antares viewed through the Moon's atmosphere (which at the time was theorized to exist). When observed by itself during such an occultation, the companion appears a profound blue or bluish-green color.
Position on the ecliptic
Antares is one of the 4 first magnitude stars that lies within 5° of the ecliptic (like Spica, Regulus and Aldebaran) and therefore can be occulted by the Moon and, though rarely, by Venus. The last occultation of Antares by Venus took place on September 17, 525 BC; the next one will take place on November 17, 2400. Other planets did not occult Antares in the last millennium nor will they do so in the next millennium, as they pass as a result of their actual node position and inclination always northward of Antares. On 31 July 2009, Antares was occulted by the Moon. The event was visible in much of southern Asia and the Middle East. Every year around December 2 the Sun passes 5° north of Antares.
Membership of the Scorpius-Centaurus Association
Antares is the brightest, most massive, and most evolved stellar member of the nearest OB association (the Scorpius-Centaurus Association). Antares is a member of the Upper Scorpius subgroup of the Scorpius-Centaurus Association, which contains thousands of stars with mean age 11 million years at a distance of approximately 145 parsecs (470 light years).
Antares, the proper name of this star, derives from the Ancient Greek Άντάρης, meaning "equal to-Ares" ("equal to-Mars"), due to the similarity of its reddish hue to the appearance of the planet Mars. The comparison of Antares with Mars may have originated with early Mesopotamian astronomers. However, some scholars have speculated that the star may have been named after Antar, or Antarah ibn Shaddad, the Arab warrior-hero celebrated in the Golden Mu'allaqat.
- In ancient Mesopotamia, Antares may have been known by the following names: Urbat, Bilu-sha-ziri ("the Lord of the Seed"), Kak-shisa ("the Creator of Prosperity"), Dar Lugal ("The King"), Masu Sar ("the Hero and the King"), and Kakkab Bir ("the Vermilion Star").
- In Persia, Antares was known as Satevis, one of the four "royal stars".
- In India, it with σ and τ Sco were Jyeshthā(The Eldest or Big), one of the nakshatra (Hindu lunar mansions).
- The Wotjobaluk Koori people of Victoria, Australia, knew Antares as Djuit, son of Marpean-kurrk (Arcturus); the stars on each side represented his wives. The Kulin Kooris saw Antares (Balayang) as the brother of Bunjil (Altair).
- The Māori people of New Zealand call Antares Rehua, and regard it as the chief of all the stars. Rehua is father of Puanga/Puaka (Rigel), an important star in the calculation of the Māori calendar.
Alternative name of this star, meaning "the Heart of Scorpion":
- In ancient Egypt, Antares represented the scorpion goddess Serket (and was the symbol of Isis in the pyramidal ceremonials).
- Antares is listed in MUL.APIN as GABA GIR.TAB, meaning "the Breast of the Scorpion:Lishi, Nabu".
- Calbalakrab from the Arabic Qalb al-Άqrab. This had been directly translated from the Ancient Greek Καρδιά Σκορπιού Kardia Skorpiū.
- Cor Scorpii translated above Greek name into Latin.
- It is sometimes listed as 18th brightest, depending on how the two brighter components of the Capella quadruple star system are counted. Each of those two separately is brighter than Antares, and hence if counted separately, this relegates Antares by one position
- van Leeuwen, F. (November 2007). "Validation of the new Hipparcos reduction". Astronomy and Astrophysics 474 (2): 653–664. arXiv:0708.1752. Bibcode:2007A&A...474..653V. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20078357.
- Nicolet, B. (1978). "Photoelectric photometric Catalogue of homogeneous measurements in the UBV System". Astronomy and Astrophysics Supplement Series 34: 1–49. Bibcode:1978A&AS...34....1N.
- "ANTARES -- Double or multiple star". SIMBAD. Centre de Données astronomiques de Strasbourg. Retrieved 2011-12-31.
- "Query= alf Sco". General Catalogue of Variable Stars. Centre de Données astronomiques de Strasbourg. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- Evans, D. S. (June 20–24, 1966), "The Revision of the General Catalogue of Radial Velocities", in Batten, Alan Henry; John Frederick, Determination of Radial Velocities and their Applications, Proceedings from IAU Symposium no. 30, University of Toronto: International Astronomical Union, Bibcode:1967IAUS...30...57E
- Baade, R.; Reimers, D. (October 2007). "Multi-component absorption lines in the HST spectra of α Scorpii B". Astronomy and Astrophysics 474 (1): 229–237. Bibcode:2007A&A...474..229B. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20077308.
- Schröder, K.-P.; Cuntz, M. (April 2007), "A critical test of empirical mass loss formulas applied to individual giants and supergiants", Astronomy and Astrophysics 465 (2): 593–601, arXiv:astro-ph/0702172, Bibcode:2007A&A...465..593S, doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20066633
- HR 6134, database entry, The Bright Star Catalogue, 5th Revised Ed. (Preliminary Version), D. Hoffleit and W. H. Warren, Jr., CDS ID . Accessed on line September 07, 2012.
- Allen, Richard Hinckley (1899). Star-names and their meanings. G. E. Stechert. pp. 364–367. Retrieved 2011-12-31.
- Mark J. Pecaut, Eric E. Mamajek, & Eric J. Bubar (February 2012). "A Revised Age for Upper Scorpius and the Star Formation History among the F-type Members of the Scorpius-Centaurus OB Association". Astrophysical Journal 746 (2): 154. arXiv:1112.1695. Bibcode:2012ApJ...746..154P. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/746/2/154.
- Kaler, James. "Antares". Retrieved 13 August 2008.
- A. Richichi (April 1990). "A new accurate determination of the angular diameter of Antares". Astronomy and Astrophysics 230 (2): 355–362. Bibcode:1990A&A...230..355R.
- Star Maps created using XEphem (Output generated for 2008). "LASCO Star Maps (identify objects in the field of view for any day of the year)". Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph Experiment (LASCO). Retrieved 2011-12-01. (2009, 2010, 2011)
- From the Pythagorean theorem, the separation s is given by:
- Schaaf, Fred (2008). The Brightest Stars: Discovering the Universe Through the Sky's Most Brilliant Stars. John Wiley and Sons. p. 218. ISBN 978-0-471-70410-2.
- Burnham, Robert, Jr. (1978). Burnham's Celestial Handbook. New York: Dover Publications. p. 1666.
- S.J. Johnson, "Occultation of Antares." The Observatory, Vol. 3, pp. 84-86 (1879)
- Hartkopf, W. I.; Mason, B. D.; Worley, C. E. (2001). "The 2001 US Naval Observatory Double Star CD-ROM. II. The Fifth Catalog of Orbits of Visual Binary Stars". The Astronomical Journal 122 (6): 3472. Bibcode:2001AJ....122.3472H. doi:10.1086/323921.
- Reimers, D.; Hagen, H. -J.; Baade, R.; Braun, K. (2008). "The Antares emission nebula and mass loss of α Scorpii A". Astronomy and Astrophysics 491: 229. arXiv:0809.4605. Bibcode:2008A&A...491..229R. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:200809983.
- "Occultation of Antares on 31 July 09". The International Occultation Timing Association. Retrieved 2 August 2009.[dead link]
- "Sky watchers report occultation of Antares by moon". The Times Of India. 2 August 2009.
- Gettings, Fred ♦ The Arkana Dictionary of Astrology Penguin Books, 1985, p. 24 ♦ "Antares: Sometimes called Antar, in confusion with a literary hero (see Allen), the modern name is said to be derived from its red colour, in that it was rival even of the planet Mars—the Greek, anti-Ares."
- Allen, R. H. (1963). Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning (Reprint ed.). New York, NY: Dover Publications Inc. pp. 364–366. ISBN 0-486-21079-0.
- Allen, R. H. (1963): According to Charles François Dupuis, a French astronomical writer
- Mudrooroo (1994). Aboriginal mythology : an A-Z spanning the history of aboriginal mythology from the earliest legends to the present day. London: HarperCollins. p. 5. ISBN 1-85538-306-3.
- Rogers, J. H. (February 1998). "Origins of the ancient constellations: I. The Mesopotamian traditions". Journal of the British Astronomical Association, no.1 108: 9–28. Bibcode:1998JBAA..108....9R.
- Kunitzsch, P. (1959). Arabische Sternnamen in Europa. Wiesbaden: Otto Hrrasowitz. p. 169.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Antares.|
- Antares on WikiSky: DSS2, SDSS, GALEX, IRAS, Hydrogen α, X-Ray, Astrophoto, Sky Map, Articles and images
- Antares at Constellation Guide