HD 179821

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HD 179821
HD 179821.jpg
HD 179821
Observation data
Epoch J2000      Equinox J2000
Constellation Aquila
Right ascension 19h 13m 58.61s[1]
Declination +00° 07′ 31.9″[1]
Apparent magnitude (V) 8.19[2] (7.83 - 8.23[3])
Spectral type G5Ia[4]
Apparent magnitude (U) 10.81[5]
Apparent magnitude (B) 9.694[2]
Apparent magnitude (R) 8.2[6]
Apparent magnitude (J) 5.371[6]
Apparent magnitude (H) 4.998[6]
Apparent magnitude (K) 4.728[6]
B−V color index +1.504[2]
Variable type SRD:[3]
Radial velocity (Rv) +82.0[7] km/s
Proper motion (μ) RA: 1.13[1] mas/yr
Dec.: −4.30[1] mas/yr
Parallax (π) −1.20 ± 0.95[1] mas
Absolute magnitude (MV) −8.9[7]
Mass 30[8] M
Luminosity 310,000[8] L
Surface gravity (log g) 0.5[7] cgs
Temperature 6,750[7] K
Metallicity [Fe/H] 0.0[7] dex
Other designations
HD 179821, V1427 Aql, AFGL 2343, BD−00°3679, HIP 94496, SAO 124414, IRAS 19114+0002, 2MASS J19135861+0007319
Database references

HD 179821 is a yellow supergiant star in the constellation of Aquila, surrounded by a detached dust shell. It is a semi-regular variable and either a moderate-mass post-AGB star or distant massive hypergiant.


HD 179821 was first catalogued as an anonymous 8th magnitude star at the start of the 20th century.[9] It was later listed as a spectral standard G4 0-Ia, indicating a highly luminous star type now known as a hypergiant.[10]

It was first considered notable for its infrared excess and double-peaked Spectral energy distribution in the infrared.[11] These were considered to be indicators of surrounding dust and HD 179821 was identified as a possible proto-planetary nebula.[12] Variability was also detected.[13]

High resolution spectroscopic studies and modern space-based observations have revealed an unusual chemical makeup and a hollow spherical dust shell, but haven't fully resolved whether HD 179821 is a highly luminous yellow hypergiant or a more modest dying star.[8]


HD 179821 has a cold detached dust shell that has been studied with the help of the Hubble Space Telescope. The shell is approximately circular in shape, has an inner diameter of ~3".3 corresponding to 20,000 AU at 6,000 pc, and an outer diameter of 5".7 or more, with the star 0".35 from the centre of the shell. The current mass loss is low, but during the formation of the shell it is estimated to have been 4×10−4 M, an exceptionally high rate.[14] Like its constellation neighbor and also hypergiant star IRC+10420, it is surrounded by an extended reflection nebula. Discovered at near-IR wavelength, this indicates a massive star[15] and, as with the reflection nebula around IRC+10420, it may be masking a star hotter than the given G5 spectral type.[16]

It is that which contributes to a double-peaked spectral energy distribution.[17] It is estimated the star has lost about 10% of its initial mass after being a red supergiant star just 1,600 years ago,[14] and is a likely supernova candidate.[18]

The distance is estimated to be around 6,000 parsecs and has a high luminosity of between 3.1×105[18] and 6×105 L.[19] It has a high radial velocity of +100 km/s.[20] According to the studies of Jura et al (2001), the star may explode as a supernova in the next 100,000 years.

Chemical composition[edit]

The chemical composition of this star differs from that of other yellow supergiant stars. The star is moderately metal-deficient[15] and the main elements present in the star (apart from hydrogen and helium) are oxygen, carbon and nitrogen. Molecules such as hydrogen isocyanide, sulfur monoxide and HCO+ have been detected in the circumstellar envelope of the star. These molecules may result from an active photochemistry, generated by UV photons emitted by the central star as it warms up, or can be produced in shocks.[17]


While most authors consider HD 179821 to be a supergiant star, others think it is actually a protoplanetary nebula or a post-AGB star at a distance of 1 kiloparsec (3,200 light years).[21] In that case the star's luminosity would be much lower, around 16,000 times that of the Sun, and its initial mass would be equal to the current mass of the Sun.[8]

This discrepancy arises because its distance is too great to be measured by parallax and it has some properties of both a yellow hypergiant and a protoplanetary nebula/Post-AGB star.[7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Van Leeuwen, F. (2007). "Validation of the new Hipparcos reduction". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 474 (2): 653. Bibcode:2007A&A...474..653V. arXiv:0708.1752Freely accessible. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20078357. 
  2. ^ a b c Høg, E.; Fabricius, C.; Makarov, V. V.; Urban, S.; Corbin, T.; Wycoff, G.; Bastian, U.; Schwekendiek, P.; Wicenec, A. (2000). "The Tycho-2 catalogue of the 2.5 million brightest stars". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 355: L27. Bibcode:2000A&A...355L..27H. doi:10.1888/0333750888/2862. 
  3. ^ a b Samus, N. N.; Durlevich, O. V.; et al. (2009). "VizieR Online Data Catalog: General Catalogue of Variable Stars (Samus+ 2007-2013)". VizieR On-line Data Catalog: B/gcvs. Originally published in: 2009yCat....102025S. 1. Bibcode:2009yCat....102025S. 
  4. ^ Klochkova, V. G. (1997). "Supergiants with large IR excesses". Bulletin of the Special Astrophysical Observatory. 44: 5. Bibcode:1997BSAO...44....5K. 
  5. ^ Nordhaus, J.; Minchev, I.; Sargent, B.; Forrest, W.; Blackman, E. G.; De Marco, O.; Kastner, J.; Balick, B.; Frank, A. (2008). "Towards a spectral technique for determining material geometry around evolved stars: Application to HD 179821". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 388 (2): 716. Bibcode:2008MNRAS.388..716N. arXiv:0801.2978Freely accessible. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13428.x. 
  6. ^ a b c d Cutri, R. M.; Skrutskie, M. F.; Van Dyk, S.; Beichman, C. A.; Carpenter, J. M.; Chester, T.; Cambresy, L.; Evans, T.; Fowler, J.; Gizis, J.; Howard, E.; Huchra, J.; Jarrett, T.; Kopan, E. L.; Kirkpatrick, J. D.; Light, R. M.; Marsh, K. A.; McCallon, H.; Schneider, S.; Stiening, R.; Sykes, M.; Weinberg, M.; Wheaton, W. A.; Wheelock, S.; Zacarias, N. (2003). "VizieR Online Data Catalog: 2MASS All-Sky Catalog of Point Sources (Cutri+ 2003)". VizieR On-line Data Catalog: II/246. Originally published in: 2003yCat.2246....0C. 2246. Bibcode:2003yCat.2246....0C. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f Reddy, B. E.; Hrivnak, Bruce J. (April 1999). "Spectroscopic Study of HD 179821 (IRAS 19114+0002): Proto–Planetary Nebula or Supergiant?". The Astronomical Journal. 117 (4): 1834–1844. Bibcode:1999AJ....117.1834R. doi:10.1086/300815. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Ferguson, Brian A.; Ueta, Toshiya (March 2010). "Differential Proper-motion Study of the Circumstellar Dust Shell of the Enigmatic Object, HD 179821". The Astrophysical Journal. 711 (2): 613–618. Bibcode:2010ApJ...711..613F. arXiv:1001.3135Freely accessible. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/711/2/613. 
  9. ^ Cannon, Annie J.; Pickering, Edward C. (1918). "The Henry Draper catalogue 0h, 1h, 2h, and 3h". Annals of Harvard College Observatory. 91: 1. Bibcode:1918AnHar..91....0C. 
  10. ^ Keenan, P. C.; Yorka, S. B. (1988). "1988 Revised MK Spectral Standards for Stars GO and Later". Bulletin d'Information du Centre de Donnees Stellaires. 35: 37. Bibcode:1988BICDS..35...37K. 
  11. ^ Pottasch, S. R.; Parthasarathy, M. (1988). "The far-infrared (IRAS) excess in luminous F-G stars". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 192: 182. Bibcode:1988A&A...192..182P. 
  12. ^ Hrivnak, Bruce J.; Kwok, Sun; Volk, Kevin M. (1989). "A study of several F and G supergiant-like stars with infrared excesses as candidates for proto-planetary nebulae". Astrophysical Journal. 346: 265. Bibcode:1989ApJ...346..265H. doi:10.1086/168007. 
  13. ^ Arkhipova, V. P.; Ikonnikova, N. P.; Noskova, R. I. (1993). "The variability of four yellow supergiants - Possible protoplanetary objects". Astronomy Letters. 19: 169. Bibcode:1993AstL...19..169A. 
  14. ^ a b Jura, M.; Werner, M. W. (10 November 1999). "The Detached Dust Shell around the Massive Star HD 179821". The Astrophysical Journal. 525 (2): L113–L116. Bibcode:1999ApJ...525L.113J. PMID 10525467. doi:10.1086/312344. 
  15. ^ a b Szczerba, R.; Górny, S.K. (31 August 2001). Post-AGB Objects as a Phase of Stellar Evolution. Springer. pp. 315–. ISBN 978-0-7923-7145-8. 
  16. ^ Nordhaus, J.; Minchev, I.; Sargent, B.; Forrest, W.; Blackman, E. G.; De Marco, O.; Kastner, J.; Balick, B.; Frank, A. (August 2008). "Towards a spectral technique for determining material geometry around evolved stars: application to HD 179821". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 388 (2): 716–722. Bibcode:2008MNRAS.388..716N. arXiv:0801.2978Freely accessible. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13428.x. 
  17. ^ a b Josselin, E.; Lèbre, A. (2001). "Probing the post-AGB nature of HD 179821". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 367 (3): 826. Bibcode:2001A&A...367..826J. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20000496. 
  18. ^ a b Jura, M.; Velusamy, T.; Werner, M. W. (20 July 2001). "What Next for the Likely Presupernova HD 179821?". The Astrophysical Journal. 556 (1): 408–416. Bibcode:2001ApJ...556..408J. arXiv:astro-ph/0103282Freely accessible. doi:10.1086/321553. 
  19. ^ Teyssier, D.; Quintana-Lacaci, G.; Marston, A. P.; Bujarrabal, V.; Alcolea, J.; Cernicharo, J.; Decin, L.; Dominik, C.; Justtanont, K.; De Koter, A.; Melnick, G.; Menten, K. M.; Neufeld, D. A.; Olofsson, H.; Planesas, P.; Schmidt, M.; Soria-Ruiz, R.; Schöier, F. L.; Szczerba, R.; Waters, L. B. F. M. (September 2012). "Herschel/HIFI observations of red supergiants and yellow hypergiants. I. Molecular inventory". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 545: A99. Bibcode:2012A&A...545A..99T. arXiv:1208.3143Freely accessible. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201219545. A99. 
  20. ^ Wing, Robert F. (31 July 2000). The Carbon Star Phenomenon. Springer. pp. 231–. ISBN 978-0-7923-6346-0. 
  21. ^ Kipper, Tõnu (2008). "Optical Spectroscopy of a Post-AGB Star HD 179821 (V1427 Aql)". Baltic Astronomy. 17: 87–102. Bibcode:2008BaltA..17...87K. 

Further reading[edit]

Juraj Zverko; Jozef Ziznovsky; Saul J. Adelman; Werner W. Weiss (25 April 2005). The A-Star Puzzle (IAU S224). Cambridge University Press. pp. 390–. ISBN 978-0-521-85018-6. 

Oudmaijer, R. D.; Davies, B.; De Wit, W.-J.; Patel, M. (2009). "Post-Red Supergiants". The Biggest. 412: 17. Bibcode:2009ASPC..412...17O. arXiv:0801.2315Freely accessible.