Gamma Pegasi

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Gamma Pegasi
Pegasus constellation map.svg
Red circle.svg
Location of γ Pegasi (circled)
Observation data
Epoch J2000      Equinox J2000
Constellation Pegasus
Right ascension  00h 13m 14.15123s[1]
Declination +15° 11′ 00.9368″[1]
Apparent magnitude (V) +2.84[2]
Spectral type B2 IV[3]
U−B color index –0.85[2]
B−V color index –0.23[2]
Variable type β Cep[4]
Radial velocity (Rv)+4.1[5] km/s
Proper motion (μ) RA: +1.98[1] mas/yr
Dec.: –9.28[1] mas/yr
Parallax (π)8.33 ± 0.53[1] mas
Distance390 ± 20 ly
(120 ± 8 pc)
Absolute magnitude (MV)−2.64[6]
Mass8.9 ± 0.1[3] M
Radius4.80 ± 0.39[7] R
Luminosity5,840[8] L
Surface gravity (log g)3.98 ± 0.06[7] cgs
Temperature21,179 ± 237[7] K
Metallicity [Fe/H]–0.34[9] dex
Rotational velocity (v sin i)0[10] km/s
Age18.7 ± 3.2[3] Myr
Other designations
Algeneb,[citation needed] Algenib, 88 Peg, HD 886, FK5 7, HIP 1067, HR 39, SAO 91781.[11]
Database references

Gamma Pegasi (γ Pegasi, abbreviated Gamma Peg or γ Peg), formally named Algenib /ælˈnɪb/,[12][13] is a star in the constellation of Pegasus, located at the southeast corner of the asterism known as the Great Square. The average apparent visual magnitude of +2.84[2] puts this at fourth place among the brightest stars in the constellation. The distance to this star has been measured using the parallax technique, yielding a value of roughly 390 light-years (120 parsecs) with a margin of error of 5%.[1]


Gamma Pegasi is the star's Bayer designation. Although it also had the traditional name Algenib, this name was also used for Alpha Persei. In 2016, the International Astronomical Union organized a Working Group on Star Names (WGSN)[14] to catalog and standardize proper names for stars. The WGSN's first bulletin of July 2016[15] included a table of the first two batches of names approved by the WGSN; which included Algenib for this star (Alpha Persei was given the name Mirfak).

The asterism of γ Pegasi and α Andromedae, in Hindu astronomy, is called Uttara Bhādrapadā (उत्तरभाद्रपदा) or Uttṛṭṭāti. It is the 26th nakshatra. In Chinese, 壁宿 (Bìxiù), meaning Wall (asterism) refers to an asterism consisting of γ Pegasi and α Andromedae .[16] Consequently, the Chinese name for γ Pegasi itself is 壁宿一 (Bìxiù yī, English: the First Star of Wall.)[17]


In 1911, American astronomer Keivin Burns discovered that the radial velocity of Gamma Pegasi varied slightly. This was confirmed in 1953 by American astronomer D. Harold McNamara, who identified it as a Beta Cephei variable.[4] (At the time he actually identified it as a Beta Canis Majoris star, which was subsequently designated a Beta Cephei variable.)[18] It has a radial pulsation period of 0.15175 days (3.642 hours), but also shows the behavior of a slowly pulsating B star (SPB) with three additional pulsational frequencies.[4] Its magnitude varies between +2.78 and +2.89 over the course of each pulsation cycle.

This is a large star with almost nine[3] times the mass of the Sun and close to five[7] times the Sun's radius. The stellar classification of B2 IV[3] suggests this is a subgiant star that is exhausting the hydrogen at its core and is in the process of evolving away from the main sequence. It is either rotating very slowly with no measurable rotational velocity or else it is being viewed from nearly pole-on.[10] Gamma Pegasi has a total luminosity of 5,840 times that of the Sun,[8] which is being radiated from its outer atmosphere at an effective temperature of more than 21,000 K.[7] At this temperature, the star glows with a blue-white hue.[19]

Despite claims that the star has a magnetic field (Butkovskaya & Plachinda [2007]), this didn't hold up under further observation. Neiner et al. (2014) put an upper bound on a dipolar magnetic field strength of about 40 G.[20]


  1. ^ a b c d e f 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 Crawford, D. L.; Barnes, J. V.; Golson, J. C. (1971), "Four-color, H-beta, and UBV photometry for bright B-type stars in the northern hemisphere", The Astronomical Journal, 76: 1058, Bibcode:1971AJ.....76.1058C, doi:10.1086/111220
  3. ^ a b c d e 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
  4. ^ a b c Walczak, P.; Daszyńska-Daszkiewicz, J. (December 2010), "Complex asteroseismology of the hybrid B-type pulsator γ Pegasi: A test of stellar opacities", Astronomische Nachrichten, 331 (9/10): 1057–1060, arXiv:1004.2366, Bibcode:2010AN....331.1057W, doi:10.1002/asna.201011456
  5. ^ Wilson, Ralph Elmer (1953), General Catalogue of Stellar Radial Velocities, Washington: Carnegie Institution of Washington, Bibcode:1953GCRV..C......0W
  6. ^ Huang, W.; et al. (2012), "A catalogue of Paschen-line profiles in standard stars", Astronomy & Astrophysics, 547: A62, arXiv:1210.7893, Bibcode:2012A&A...547A..62H, doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201219804.
  7. ^ a b c d e Fitzpatrick, E. L.; Massa, D. (March 2005), "Determining the Physical Properties of the B Stars. II. Calibration of Synthetic Photometry", The Astronomical Journal, 129 (3): 1642–1662, arXiv:astro-ph/0412542, Bibcode:2005AJ....129.1642F, doi:10.1086/427855
  8. ^ a b Hohle, M. M.; Neuhäuser, R.; Schutz, B. F. (April 2010), "Masses and luminosities of O- and B-type stars and red supergiants", Astronomische Nachrichten, 331 (4): 349, arXiv:1003.2335, Bibcode:2010AN....331..349H, doi:10.1002/asna.200911355
  9. ^ 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 Abt, Helmut A.; Levato, Hugo; Grosso, Monica (July 2002), "Rotational Velocities of B Stars", The Astrophysical Journal, 573 (1): 359–365, Bibcode:2002ApJ...573..359A, doi:10.1086/340590. The zero value is for v sin i, so v and/or i must be small.
  11. ^ "gam Peg". SIMBAD. Centre de données astronomiques de Strasbourg. Retrieved 2012-02-23.
  12. ^ Kunitzsch, Paul; Smart, Tim (2006). A Dictionary of Modern star Names: A Short Guide to 254 Star Names and Their Derivations (2nd rev. ed.). Cambridge, Massachusetts: Sky Pub. ISBN 978-1-931559-44-7.
  13. ^ "IAU Catalog of Star Names". Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  14. ^ "IAU Working Group on Star Names (WGSN)". Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  15. ^ "Bulletin of the IAU Working Group on Star Names, No. 1" (PDF). Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  16. ^ (in Chinese) p. 170, 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.
  17. ^ (in Chinese) 香港太空館 – 研究資源 – 亮星中英對照表 Archived October 25, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, Hong Kong Space Museum. Accessed on line November 23, 2010.
  18. ^ McNamara, D. H. (June 1953), "Gamma Pegasi: A Beta Canis Majoris Star of Small Velocity Amplitude", Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 65 (384): 144, Bibcode:1953PASP...65..144M, doi:10.1086/126561
  19. ^ "The Colour of Stars", Australia Telescope, Outreach and Education, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, December 21, 2004, archived from the original on 2012-03-10, retrieved 2012-01-16
  20. ^ Neiner, C.; et al. (February 2014), "γ Pegasi: testing Vega-like magnetic fields in B stars", Astronomy & Astrophysics, 562: 8, arXiv:1312.3521, Bibcode:2014A&A...562A..59N, doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201323093, A59.

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