Tau Orionis

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τ Orionis
Observation data
Epoch J2000.0      Equinox J2000.0 (ICRS)
Constellation Orion
Right ascension  05h 17m 36.38856s[1]
Declination −06° 50′ 39.8702″[1]
Apparent magnitude (V) 3.58[2]
Spectral type B5 III[3]
U−B color index −0.47[2]
B−V color index −0.11[2]
Radial velocity (Rv)+20.1[4] km/s
Proper motion (μ) RA: −17.61[1] mas/yr
Dec.: −9.24[1] mas/yr
Parallax (π)6.60 ± 0.15[1] mas
Distance490 ± 10 ly
(152 ± 3 pc)
Mass6.2±0.1[5] M
Radius5.4[6] R
Luminosity933[7] L
Temperature10,829[7] K
Rotational velocity (v sin i)40[8] km/s
Age63.1±15.6[5] Myr
Other designations
τ Ori, 20 Orionis, BD−07° 1028, HD 34503, HIP 24674, HR 1735, SAO 131952.[9]
Database references

Tau Orionis (τ Ori, τ Orionis) is a solitary[10] star in the constellation Orion. If an imaginary line is drawn north-west between the stars Rigel and Mintaka, Tau Orionis can be found roughly one-sixth of the way to Mintaka. It is visible to the naked eye with an apparent visual magnitude of 3.58.[2] Based upon an annual parallax shift of 6.6 mas,[1] it is located around 490 light years from the Sun.

This is a B-type giant star with a stellar classification of B5III5 III.[3] It has around 5.4[6] times the radius of the Sun and 6.2[5] times the Sun's mass. The star shines with 933[7] times the solar luminosity from its outer atmosphere at an effective temperature of 10,829[7] K. it is around 63[5] million years old, with a peculiar velocity through space of 16.9 km/s.[5]

Tau Orionis has three visual companions: magnitude 11.0 component B at an angular separation of 33.30″ along a position angle of 251°; magnitude 10.9 component C lying some 3.80″ from component B; and magnitude 10.9 component D at 36.0″ from τ Ori along a position angle of 51°, all as of 2011.[11]

Proper names[edit]

According to Richard H. Allen, this star, along with β Eri, λ Eri and ψ Eri were Al Kursiyy al Jauzah, "the Chair (or "Footstool") of the Central One".[12] However, per the catalogue of stars in the Technical Memorandum 33-507 - A Reduced Star Catalog Containing 537 Named Stars, Al Kursiyy al Jauzah were the title for just three stars: β Eri as Cursa, ψ Eri as Al Kursiyy al Jauzah I and λ Eri as Al Kursiyy al Jauzah II, excluding this star.[13]

In Chinese, 玉井 (Yù Jǐng), meaning Jade Well, refers to an asterism consisting of τ Orionis, β Eridani, λ Eridani and ψ Eridani.[14] Consequently, the Chinese name for τ Orionis itself is 玉井四 (Yù Jǐng sì, English: the Fourth Star of Jade Well.).[15] From this Chinese title, the name Yuh Tsing is derived.[12]


  1. ^ a b c d e f van Leeuwen, F. (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.; et al. (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 Abt, H. A. (September 1985), "Visual multiples. VIII - 1000 MK types", Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 59: 95–112, Bibcode:1985ApJS...59...95A, doi:10.1086/191064.
  4. ^ Wilson, R. E. (1953), General Catalogue of Stellar Radial Velocities, Carnegie Institute of Washington, D.C., Bibcode:1953GCRV..C......0W.
  5. ^ a b c d e Tetzlaff, N.; et al. (2011), "A catalogue of young runaway Hipparcos stars within 3 kpc from the Sun", Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 410: 190, arXiv:1007.4883, Bibcode:2011MNRAS.410..190T, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.17434.x.
  6. ^ a b Pasinetti Fracassini, L. E.; Pastori, L.; Covino, S.; Pozzi, A. (February 2001), "Catalogue of Apparent Diameters and Absolute Radii of Stars (CADARS) - Third edition - Comments and statistics", Astronomy and Astrophysics, 367: 521–524, arXiv:astro-ph/0012289, Bibcode:2001A&A...367..521P, doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20000451.
  7. ^ a b c d McDonald, I.; et al. (2012), "Fundamental Parameters and Infrared Excesses of Hipparcos Stars", Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 427 (1): 343–57, arXiv:1208.2037, Bibcode:2012MNRAS.427..343M, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21873.x.
  8. ^ Abt, Helmut A.; et al. (July 2002), "Rotational Velocities of B Stars", The Astrophysical Journal, 573 (1): 359–365, Bibcode:2002ApJ...573..359A, doi:10.1086/340590.
  9. ^ "tau Ori". SIMBAD. Centre de données astronomiques de Strasbourg. Retrieved 2016-11-24.
  10. ^ Eggleton, P. P.; Tokovinin, A. A. (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.
  11. ^ Mason, B. D.; et al. (2014), "The Washington Visual Double Star Catalog", The Astronomical Journal, 122: 3466–3471, Bibcode:2001AJ....122.3466M, doi:10.1086/323920.
  12. ^ a b Allen, R. H. (1963). Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning (Reprint ed.). New York, NY: Dover Publications Inc. p. 218. ISBN 0-486-21079-0. Retrieved 2010-12-12.
  13. ^ Rhoads, Jack W. (November 15, 1971), Technical Memorandum 33-507-A Reduced Star Catalog Containing 537 Named Stars (PDF), Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, retrieved 2016-11-24.
  14. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in 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.
  15. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in Chinese) AEEA (Activities of Exhibition and Education in Astronomy) 天文教育資訊網 2006 年 7 月 15 日

External links[edit]

  • Kaler, James B. (January 23, 2009), "Tau Orionis", Stars, University of Illinois, retrieved 2016-11-18.