HD 168625

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HD 168625
Observation data
Epoch J2000      Equinox J2000
Constellation Sagittarius
Right ascension 18h 21m 19.548s[1]
Declination −16° 22′ 16.0572″[1]
Apparent magnitude (V) 8.44[2]
Spectral type B6Ia+[3]
U−B color index +0.37[4]
B−V color index +1.41[4]
J−K color index 0.599
Variable type alpha cygni[5]
Radial velocity (Rv) -4.00[6] km/s
Proper motion (μ) RA: -0.71 ± 1.20[1] mas/yr
Dec.: +0.01 ± 0.74[1] mas/yr
Parallax (π) 2.52 ± 1.10[1] mas
Distance approx. 1,300 ly
(approx. 400 pc)
Absolute magnitude (MV) −8.5[3]
Luminosity 220,000[7] L
Surface gravity (log g) 1.5[7] cgs
Temperature 12,000[7] K
Other designations
V4030 Sgr, HD 168625, BD -16°4830, SAO 161375, HIP 89963, AAVSO 1815-168

HD 168625 (V4030 Sgr) is a blue hypergiant and candidate luminous blue variable located in the constellation of Sagittarius easy to see with amateur telescopes. It forms a visual pair with the also blue hypergiant (and luminous blue variable) HD 168607 and is located to the south-east of M17, the Omega Nebula.

Its distance and association with that nebula and the mentioned star is dubious; while some authors think both stars are physically associated and belong to the stellar association Serpens OB1,[8] at a distance to the Sun of 2.2 kiloparsecs (7.200 light years),[9] others think HD 168625 is farther, at a distance estimated to be 2.8 kiloparsecs (9,100 light years) and unrelated to the former objects.[10]

Physical characteristics[edit]

Assuming a distance of 2.2 kiloparsecs, HD 168625 is 220,000 times brighter than the Sun, having a surface temperature of 12,000 °K.[9] It is losing mass through a very strong stellar wind at a rate of roughly 1.46×10−6 solar masses per year[11] and observations realized in 2012 with the help of the VLT show it's actually a binary star.[12]

However, its most notable characteristic is the presence of a nebula surrounding it that was discovered in 1994[13] and that has been studied with the help of several instruments and observatories and telescopes that include among others the Hubble Space Telescope[10] and the VLT.[11]

Said studies show that HD 168625 is actually surrounded by two nebulae: an inner one that has an elliptical shape and a very complex structure that includes arcs and filaments,[10] and a much larger outer one discovered with the help of the Spitzer Space Telescope that has a bipolar shape and that looks like a clone of the one surrounding Sanduleak -69° 202, the progenitor of the supernova 1987A in the Large Magellanic Cloud.[14] This suggests Sanduleak -69° 202 was also a luminous blue variable as well as the possibility of HD 168625 exploding as a Type II supernova in the near future.[14]


  1. ^ a b c d e Van Leeuwen, F. (2007). "Validation of the new Hipparcos reduction". Astronomy and Astrophysics 474 (2): 653. arXiv:0708.1752. Bibcode:2007A&A...474..653V. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20078357. 
  2. ^ Clark, J. S.; Najarro, F.; Negueruela, I.; Ritchie, B. W.; Urbaneja, M. A.; Howarth, I. D. (2012). "On the nature of the galactic early-B hypergiants" (pdf). Astronomy & Astrophysics 541: A145. arXiv:1202.3991v1. Bibcode:2012A&A...541A.145C. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201117472. 
  3. ^ a b Chentsov, E. L.; Ermakov, S. V.; Klochkova, V. G.; Panchuk, V. E.; Bjorkman, K. S.; Miroshnichenko, A. S. (2003). "An atlas of spectra of B6?A2 hypergiants and supergiants from 4800 to 6700?�". Astronomy and Astrophysics 397 (3): 1035–1042. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20021430. ISSN 0004-6361. 
  4. ^ a b Ducati, J. R. (2002). "VizieR Online Data Catalog: Catalogue of Stellar Photometry in Johnson's 11-color system". CDS/ADC Collection of Electronic Catalogues 2237: 0. Bibcode:2002yCat.2237....0D. 
  5. ^ . Bibcode:1999A&A...349..532S.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ Kharchenko, N.V.; Scholz, R.-D.; Piskunov, A.E.; Röser, S.; Schilbach, E. (2007). "Astrophysical supplements to the ASCC-2.5: Ia. Radial velocities of ∼55000 stars and mean radial velocities of 516 Galactic open clusters and associations". Astronomische Nachrichten 328 (9): 889–896. doi:10.1002/asna.200710776. ISSN 0004-6337. 
  7. ^ a b c . Bibcode:1992A&A...264...88V.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ Chentsov, E.L.; Gorda, E.S. (2004). "Spatial Closeness of the White Hypergiants HD 168607 and HD 168625". Astronomy Letters 30 (7): 145–180. Bibcode:2004AstL...30..461C. doi:10.1134/1.1774398. 
  9. ^ a b Nazé, Y.; Rauw, G.; Hutsemékers, D. (2012). "The first X-ray survey of Galactic luminous blue variables". Astronomy & Astrophysics 538: A47. arXiv:1111.6375. Bibcode:2012A&A...538A..47N. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201118040. A47. 
  10. ^ a b c Pasquali, A.; Nota, A.; Smith, L.J.; Akiyama, S.; Messineo, M.; Clampin, M. (2002). "Multiwavelength Study of the Nebula Associated with the Galactic LBV Candidate HD 168625". The Astronomical Journal 124 (3): 1625–1635. arXiv:astro-ph/0207613. Bibcode:2002AJ....124.1625P. doi:10.1086/341820. 
  11. ^ a b Umana, G.; Buemi, C.S.; Trigilio, C.; Leto, P.; Hora, J.L. (2010). "Spitzer, Very Large Telescope, and Very Large Array Observations of the Galactic Luminous Blue Variable Candidate HD 168625". The Astrophysical Journal 718 (2): 1036–1045. Bibcode:2010ApJ...718.1036U. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/718/2/1036. 
  12. ^ Martayan, C.; Lobel, A.; Baade, D.; Blomme, R.; Frémat, Y.; Lebouquin, J.-B.; Selman, F.; Girard, J.; Mérand, A.; Montagnier, G.; Patru, F.; Mawet, D.; Martins, F.; Rivinius, Th.; Štefl, S.; Zorec, J.; Semaan, T.; Mehner, A.; Kervella, P.; Sana, H.; Schödel, R. (2012). "On the Binarity of LBV Stars". ASP Conference Proceedings 464: 293. Bibcode:2012ASPC..464..293M. 
  13. ^ Hutsemekers, D.; vanDrom, E.; Gosset, E.; Melnick, J. (1994). "A dusty nebula around the luminous blue variable candidate HD 168625". Astronomy and Astrophysics 2904: 906–914. Bibcode:1994A&A...290..906H. 
  14. ^ a b Smith, Nathan (2007). "Discovery of a Nearby Twin of SN 1987A's Nebula around the Luminous Blue Variable HD 168625: Was Sk -69 202 an LBV?". The Astronomical Journal 133 (3): 1034–1040. arXiv:astro-ph/0611544. Bibcode:2007AJ....133.1034S. doi:10.1086/510838.