Plaskett's star

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Plaskett's star
Observation data
Epoch J2000.0      Equinox J2000.0
Constellation Monoceros
Right ascension 06h 37m 24.04130s[1]
Declination +06° 08′ 07.3719″[1]
Apparent magnitude (V) 6.06[2]
Spectral type O8 III/I + O7.5 III[3]
U−B color index –0.88[2]
B−V color index +0.05[2]
Radial velocity (Rv) +24.5[4] km/s
Proper motion (μ) RA: –2.73[1] mas/yr
Dec.: +0.31[1] mas/yr
Distance 5,245 ly
(1,608[5] pc)
Mass 54[3] M
Radius 14.2[3] R
Luminosity 224,000[3] L
Surface gravity (log g) 3.5 ± 0.1[3] cgs
Temperature 33,500 ± 2000[3] K
Rotational velocity (v sin i) 75[6] km/s
Mass 56[3] M
Radius 10.8[3] R
Luminosity 123,000[3] L
Surface gravity (log g) 3.5 ± 0.1[3] cgs
Temperature 33000 ± 2000[3] K
Rotational velocity (v sin i) 300[6] km/s
Other designations
V640 Monocerotis, HR 2422, BD+6°1309, GC 8631, HIP 31646 , HD 47129.[7]

Plaskett's Star, also known as HR 2422 and V640 Monocerotis, is a spectroscopic binary at a distance of around 6600 light-years. It is one of the most massive binary stars known, with a total mass of around one hundred times that of the Sun.[3] Indeed, it was long thought to be the most massive known binary system,[6] but evidence collected between 1996–2005 demonstrated that Eta Carinae, which was previously thought to be a massive individual star, is a binary system.[8]

This system is named after John Stanley Plaskett, the Canadian astronomer who discovered its binary nature in 1922. Plaskett was assisted in his observations by his son, Harry Hemley Plaskett. The pair have a combined visual magnitude of 6.05, and is located in the constellation of Monoceros.

The orbital period for the pair is 14.39625±0.00095 d.[3] The secondary is a rapid rotator with a projected rotational velocity of 300 km·s−1,[6] giving it a pronounced equatorial bulge.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d 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. 
  2. ^ a b c Johnson, H. L. et al. (1966). "UBVRIJKL photometry of the bright stars". Communications of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory 4 (99). Bibcode:1966CoLPL...4...99J. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Linder, N. et al. (October 2008), "High-resolution optical spectroscopy of Plaskett's star", Astronomy and Astrophysics 489 (2): 713–723, arXiv:0807.4823, Bibcode:2008A&A...489..713L, doi:10.1051/0004-6361:200810003 
  4. ^ Wilson, Ralph Elmer (1953). General Catalogue of Stellar Radial Velocities. Washington: Carnegie Institution of Washington. Bibcode:1953QB901.W495..... 
  5. ^ Megier, A. et al. (November 2009), "The interstellar Ca II distance scale", Astronomy and Astrophysics 507 (2): 833–840, Bibcode:2009A&A...507..833M, doi:10.1051/0004-6361/20079144 
  6. ^ a b c d Mahy, L. et al. (January 2011), "Plaskett's star: analysis of the CoRoT photometric data", Astronomy and Astrophysics 525: A101, arXiv:1010.4959, Bibcode:2011A&A...525A.101M, doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201014777 
  7. ^ "PLASKETT STAR -- Double or multiple star", SIMBAD (Centre de Données astronomiques de Strasbourg), retrieved 2012-01-03 
  8. ^ Iping, Rosina C. et al. (November 2005), "Detection of a Hot Binary Companion of η Carinae", The Astrophysical Journal 633 (1): L37–L40, arXiv:astro-ph/0510581, Bibcode:2005ApJ...633L..37I, doi:10.1086/498268 

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