Xi Cancri

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ξ Cancri
Observation data
Epoch J2000.0      Equinox J2000.0
Constellation Cancer
Right ascension 09h09m21.5s
Declination +22°02′44″
Apparent magnitude (V) +5.16
Distance 381 ± 38 ly
(117 ± 12 pc)
Spectral type G9IIIFe-1CH-0.5
Other designations
77 Cancri, HR 3627, HD 78515, BD+22°2061, FK5 1239, HIP 44946, SAO 80666, GC 12635, CCDM 09094+2203

Xi Cancri (ξ Cnc, ξ Cancri) is a spectroscopic binary in the constellation Cancer. It is approximately 381 light years from Earth.


This star, along with λ Leo (Alterf), were the Persian Nahn, "the Nose", and the Coptic Piautos, "the Eye", both lunar asterisms.[1]

Nahn was the title of this star in the catalogue of stars in Technical Memorandum 33-507 - A Reduced Star Catalog Containing 537 Named Stars.[2]


The primary component, ξ Cancri A, is a yellow G-type giant with an apparent magnitude of +5.16. Its companion, ξ Cancri B, is 0.1 arcseconds from the primary. The two stars complete one orbit about their common centre of mass once every 4.66 years with an eccentricity of 0.07.[3]


  1. ^ Allen, R. H. (1963). Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning (Reprint ed.). New York, NY: Dover Publications Inc. p. 114. ISBN 0-486-21079-0. Retrieved 2010-12-12. 
  2. ^ Jack W. Rhoads - Technical Memorandum 33-507-A Reduced Star Catalog Containing 537 Named Stars, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology; November 15, 1971
  3. ^ Jackson, E. S.; Shane, W. W.; Lynds, Beverly T. (May 1957), "The Orbits of the Spectroscopic Binaries Omicron Tauri, Xi Cancri, and Mu Ursae Majories", Astrophysical Journal, 125: 712, Bibcode:1957ApJ...125..712J, doi:10.1086/146345