Xi Cephei

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Xi Cephei
Observation data
Epoch J2000      Equinox J2000
Constellation Cepheus
Right ascension 22h 03m 47.455s[1]
Declination +64° 37′ 40.71″[1]
Apparent magnitude (V) 4.29[2]
Proper motion (μ) RA: 215.46 ± 1.14[1] mas/yr
Dec.: 91.06 ± 0.97[1] mas/yr
Parallax (π) 38.10 ± 2.81[3] mas
Distance 86 ± 6 ly
(26 ± 2 pc)
Other designations
17 Cep, HR 8417, HD 209790, SAO 19827, HIP 108917.
Database references

Xi Cephei (ξ Cephei, abbreviated Xi Cep, ξ Cep), also named Kurhah,[4] is a binary star in the constellation of Cepheus. It is approximately 86 light years from Earth.[3]


ξ Cephei (Latinised to Xi Cephei) is the system's Bayer designation.

It bore the traditional names Kurhah, Alkirdah or Al Kirduh,[5] the name coming from Qazvini who gave Al Ḳurḥaḥ (القرحة al-qurhah), an Arabic word Ideler translated as a white spot, or blaze, in the face of a horse. Allen indicates that Ideler felt this was not a proper name for a star, and suggested the name Al Ḳirdah (ألقردة al qírada "the Ape").[6] In 2016, the International Astronomical Union organized a Working Group on Star Names (WGSN)[7] to catalogue and standardize proper names for stars. The WGSN approved the name Kurhah for this star on 12 September 2016 and it is now so entered in the IAU Catalog of Star Names.[4]

In Chinese, 天鈎 (Tiān Gōu), meaning Celestial Hook, refers to an asterism consisting of Xi Cephei, 4 Cephei, HD 194298, Eta Cephei, Theta Cephei, Alpha Cephei, 26 Cephei, Iota Cephei and Omicron Cephei.[8] Consequently, Xi Cephei itself is known as 天鈎六 (Tiān Gōu liù, English: the Sixth Star of Celestial Hook.).[9]


Xi Cephei belongs to spectral class A3/6Vm and has apparent magnitude +4.29. It is a spectroscopic binary.

Coordinates (equinox J2000.0):


  1. ^ a b c d van Leeuwen, F. (2007). "Validation of the new Hipparcos reduction". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 474 (2): 653–664. arXiv:0708.1752Freely accessible. Bibcode:2007A&A...474..653V. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20078357. Vizier catalog entry
  2. ^ "* ksi Cep -- Double or multiple star". SIMBAD. Centre de Données astronomiques de Strasbourg. Retrieved 2011-10-20. 
  3. ^ a b Farrington, C. D.; et al. (2014). "Separated Fringe Packet Observations with the CHARA Array. II. omega Andromeda, HD 178911, and xi Cephei." (PDF). The Astronomical Journal. 148 (3). 48. arXiv:1407.0639Freely accessible. Bibcode:2014AJ....148...48F. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/148/3/48. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 16, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "IAU Catalog of Star Names". Retrieved 28 July 2016. 
  5. ^ Islamic Crescent Project: Star names
  6. ^ Allen, R. H. (1963). Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning (Reprint ed.). New York: Dover Publications Inc. p. 159. ISBN 0-486-21079-0. Retrieved 2010-12-12. 
  7. ^ IAU Working Group on Star Names (WGSN), International Astronomical Union, retrieved 22 May 2016. 
  8. ^ (Chinese) 中國星座神話, written by 陳久金. Published by 台灣書房出版有限公司, 2005, ISBN 978-986-7332-25-7.
  9. ^ (Chinese) 香港太空館 - 研究資源 - 亮星中英對照表 Archived January 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., Hong Kong Space Museum. Accessed on line November 23, 2010.