Gamma Persei (Gamma Per, γ Persei, γ Per) is a binary star system in the constellation Perseus. The combined apparent visual magnitude of the pair is +2.9, making it the fourth-brightest member of the constellation. The distance to this system has been measured using the parallax technique, giving an estimate of roughly 243 light-years (75 parsecs) with a 4% margin of error. About 4° to the north of Gamma Persei is the radiance point for the annual Perseid meteor shower.
This is a wide eclipsing binary system with an orbital period of 5,329.8 days (14.6 years). This eclipse was first observed in 1990 and lasted for two weeks. During an eclipse, the primary passes in front of the secondary, causing the magnitude of the system to decrease by 0.55. The primary component of this system is a giant star with a stellar classification of G9 III. It has a projected rotational velocity of 50.0 km s−1 and a lengthy estimated rotation period of 14.6 years. The classification of the secondary remains tentative, with assignments of A3 V and A2(III).
Mass estimates for the two stars remain disparate. Using speckle interferometry, McAlister (1982) obtained mass estimates of 4.73 M☉ for the primary and 2.75 M☉ for the secondary, where M☉ is the mass of the Sun. He noted that the mass estimate was too high for the given classification of the primary. Martin and Mignard (1998) determined masses for both components based on data from the Hipparcos mission: 5.036 ± 0.951 M☉ for the primary and 2.295 ± 0.453 M☉ for the secondary. They admit that the high inclination of the orbit resulted in a large margin of error. Prieto and Lambert (1999) came up with a mass estimate of 3.81 M☉ for the primary, while Pizzolato and Maggio (2000) obtained 4.34 M☉. Ling et al. (2001) obtained estimates of 2.7 M☉ for the primary and 1.65 M☉ for the secondary, while Kaler (2001) obtained 2.5 and 1.9, respectively.
Name and etymology
- This star, together with δ Per, ψ Per, σ Per, α Per and η Per, has been called the Segment of Perseus.
- In Chinese, 天船 (Tiān Chuán), meaning Celestial Boat, refers to an asterism consisting of γ Persei, η Persei, α Persei, ψ Persei, δ Persei, 48 Persei, μ Persei and HD 27084. Consequently, γ Persei itself is known as 天船二 (Tiān Chuán èr, English: the Second Star of Celestial Boat.)
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- Johnson, H. L.; et al. (1966), "UBVRIJKL photometry of the bright stars", Communications of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, 4 (99): 99, Bibcode:1966CoLPL...4...99J
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- Pizzolato, N.; Maggio, A.; Sciortino, S. (September 2000), "Evolution of X-ray activity of 1-3 Msun late-type stars in early post-main-sequence phases", Astronomy and Astrophysics, 361: 614–628, Bibcode:2000A&A...361..614P
- Ling, J. F.; Magdalena, P.; Prieto, C. (October 2001), "Perturbations by Mass Loss in the Orbital Elements of γ Persei and α Centauri", Revista Mexicana de Astronomia y Astrofisica, 37: 179–186, Bibcode:2001RMxAA..37..179L
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- Kaler, James B. (January 5, 2001), "GAMMA PER (Gamma Persei)", Stars, University of Illinois, retrieved 2012-02-25
- Malkov, O. Yu.; et al. (February 2006), "A catalogue of eclipsing variables", Astronomy and Astrophysics, 446 (2): 785–789, Bibcode:2006A&A...446..785M, doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20053137
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- McAlister, H. A. (March 1982), "Masses and luminosities for the giant spectroscopic/speckle interferometric binaries gamma Persei and phi Cygni", Astronomical Journal, 87: 563–569, Bibcode:1982AJ.....87..563M, doi:10.1086/113130
- Martin, C.; Mignard, F. (February 1998), "Mass determination of astrometric binaries with Hipparcos. II. Selection of candidates and results", Astronomy and Astrophysics, 330: 585–599, Bibcode:1998A&A...330..585M
- Allende Prieto, C.; Lambert, D. L. (1999), "Fundamental parameters of nearby stars from the comparison with evolutionary calculations: masses, radii and effective temperatures", Astronomy and Astrophysics, 352: 555–562, arXiv: , Bibcode:1999A&A...352..555A
- Allen, R. H. (1963). Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning (Reprint ed.). New York: Dover Publications Inc. p. 331. ISBN 0-486-21079-0. Retrieved 2012-09-04.
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