Rho Leonis

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Rho Leonis
Diagram showing star positions and boundaries of the Leo constellation and its surroundings
Cercle rouge 100%.svg

Location of ρ Leonis (circled)
Observation data
Epoch J2000      Equinox J2000
Constellation Leo
Right ascension 10h 32m 48.67168s[1]
Declination +09° 18′ 23.7094″[1]
Apparent magnitude (V) 3.856[2]
Spectral type B1 Iab[3]
U−B color index –0.945[2]
B−V color index –0.153[2]
Variable type –6.8[4]
Radial velocity (Rv) +42.0[5] km/s
Proper motion (μ) RA: –5.57[6] mas/yr
Dec.: –3.59[6] mas/yr
Parallax (π) 0.60 ± 0.18[6] mas
Distance approx. 5,000 ly
(approx. 1,700 pc)
Mass 27.1 ± 8.4[7] M
Radius 37.4[8] R
Luminosity 295,000[4] L
Surface gravity (log g) 3.09[9] cgs
Temperature 24,200[9] K
Metallicity [Fe/H] –0.89[9] dex
Rotation 7 ± 2 days[10]
Rotational velocity (v sin i) 60[11] km/s
Age 4.5 ± 0.1[7] Myr
Other designations
47 Leo, HR 4133, BD+10 2166, HD 91316, SAO 118355, FK5 396, HIP 51624.[12]

Rho Leonis (ρ Leo) is a binary star in the zodiac constellation of Leo, and, like the prominent nearby star Regulus, it is located near the ecliptic. With an apparent visual magnitude of 3.9,[2] this star can be readily seen with the naked eye at night. Parallax measurements give a distance estimate of about 5,400 light-years (1,700 parsecs) from the Earth.[6]

This is an enormous star with about 21 times the Sun's mass (M)[13] and 37 times the Sun's radius.[8] Its spectrum matches a stellar classification of B1 Iab,[3] with the 'Iab' luminosity class indicating that it is in the supergiant stage of its evolution. Rho Leonis is radiating about 295,000 times the Sun's luminosity[4] at an effective temperature of 24,200 K,[9] giving it the blue-white hue typical of a B-type star. A strong stellar wind is expelling mass from the outer envelope at a rate of 3.5 × 10−7 M per year, or the equivalent of 1 M every 2.8 million years.[8] The rotation rate is probably about once per 7 days, with an upper limit of 47 days.[10]

Rho Leonis is classified as a runaway star, which means it has a peculiar velocity of at least 30 km s−1 relative to the surrounding stars. It has radial velocity of 42 km s−1 away from the Sun and a proper motion that is carrying it about 1.56 Astronomical Units per year, equivalent to 7 km s−1,[14] in a transverse direction. The star is situated about 2,300 light-years (710 parsecs) above the galactic plane.[15]

This is a binary star system with a magnitude 4.8 companion at an angular separation of 0.11 arcseconds.[16]


  1. ^ a b 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 d Gutierrez-Moreno, Adelina et al. (1966), A System of photometric standards 1, Publicaciones Universidad de Chile, Department de Astronomy, pp. 1–17, Bibcode:1966PDAUC...1....1G 
  3. ^ a b Lesh, Janet Rountree (December 1968), "The Kinematics of the Gould Belt: an Expanding Group?", Astrophysical Journal Supplement 17: 371, Bibcode:1968ApJS...17..371L, doi:10.1086/190179 
  4. ^ a b c Crowther, P. A.; Lennon, D. J.; Walborn, N. R. (January 2006), "Physical parameters and wind properties of galactic early B supergiants", Astronomy and Astrophysics 446 (1): 279–293, arXiv:astro-ph/0509436, Bibcode:2006A&A...446..279C, doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20053685 
  5. ^ Wilson, Ralph Elmer (1953), General Catalogue of Stellar Radial Velocities, Washington: Carnegie Institution of Washington, Bibcode:1953QB901.W495..... 
  6. ^ a b c d Perryman, M. A. C. et al. (July 1997), "The HIPPARCOS Catalogue", Astronomy & Astrophysics 323: L49–L52, Bibcode:1997A&A...323L..49P 
  7. ^ a b Tetzlaff, N.; Neuhäuser, R.; Hohle, M. M. (January 2011), "A catalogue of young runaway Hipparcos stars within 3 kpc from the Sun", Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 410 (1): 190–200, arXiv:1007.4883, Bibcode:2011MNRAS.410..190T, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.17434.x 
  8. ^ a b c Kraus, M.; Borges Fernandes, M.; Kubát, J. (May 2009), "Parameters of galactic early B supergiants. The influence of the wind on the interstellar extinction determination", Astronomy and Astrophysics 499 (1): 291–299, Bibcode:2009A&A...499..291K, doi:10.1051/0004-6361/200810319 
  9. ^ a b c d Gies, Douglas R.; Lambert, David L. (March 10, 1992), "Carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen abundances in early B-type stars", Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 387: 673–700, Bibcode:1992ApJ...387..673G, doi:10.1086/171116 
  10. ^ a b Kholtygin, A. F. et al. (November 2007), "Microvariability of line profiles in the spectra of OB stars: III. The supergiant ρ LEO", Astronomy Reports 51 (11): 920–931, Bibcode:2007ARep...51..920K, doi:10.1134/S1063772907110054 
  11. ^ Bernacca, P. L.; Perinotto, M. (1970), "A catalogue of stellar rotational velocities", Contributi Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova in Asiago 239 (1), Bibcode:1970CoAsi.239....1B 
  12. ^ "V* rho Leo -- Variable Star", SIMBAD (Centre de Données astronomiques de Strasbourg), retrieved 2010-06-11 
  13. ^ Conlon, E. S. et al. (September 1990), "The runaway nature of distant early-type stars in the galactic halo", Astronomy and Astrophysics 236 (2): 357–361, Bibcode:1990A&A...236..357C 
  14. ^ An Astronomical Unit (AU) is 1.5 × 108 km, while a year is 3.2 × 107 seconds. Thus, 1.56 AU/year = (1.56 AU/yr) × (1.5 × 108 km/AU) / (3.2 × 107 s/yr) = 7 km/s.
  15. ^ Lauroesch, J. T.; Meyer, David M. (July 2003), "Variable Na I Absorption toward ρ Leonis: Biased Neutral Formation in the Diffuse Interstellar Medium?", The Astrophysical Journal 591 (2): L123–L126, arXiv:astro-ph/0306005, Bibcode:2003ApJ...591L.123L, doi:10.1086/377164 
  16. ^ Eggleton, P. P.; Tokovinin, A. A. (September 2008), "A catalogue of multiplicity among bright stellar systems", Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 389 (2): 869–879, arXiv:0806.2878, Bibcode:2008MNRAS.389..869E, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13596.x 

External links[edit]

  • Kaler, James B., "Rho Leonis", Stars (University of Illinois), retrieved 2012-01-11