Xi Serpentis

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ξ Serpentis
Observation data
Epoch J2000.0      Equinox J2000.0
Constellation Serpens
Right ascension 17h 37m 35.2s
Declination −15° 23′ 55″
Apparent magnitude (V) +3.54
Distance 105 ± 4 ly
(32 ± 1 pc)
Spectral type F0IIIp
Other designations
55 Serpentis, HR 6561,
HD 159876, SAO 160700,
HIP 86263, CCDM 17376-1524

Xi Serpentis (ξ Ser, ξ Serpentis) is a triple star system in the constellation Serpens. The primary star, Xi Serpentis A, is a yellow-white F-type giant with an apparent magnitude of +3.54. It is a spectroscopic binary with an orbital period of 2.29 days. A 13th magnitude companion, Xi Serpentis B, is located 25 arcseconds from the primary pair. Xi Serpentis is approximately 105 light years from Earth.


In Chinese, Tiān Shì Zuǒ Yuán (天市左垣), meaning Left Wall of Heavenly Market Enclosure, refers to an asterism which is represent eleven old states (and region) in China which is marking the left borderline of the enclosure, consisting of ξ Serpentis, δ Herculis, λ Herculis, μ Herculis, ο Herculis, 112 Herculis, ζ Aquilae, η Serpentis, θ1 Serpentis, ν Ophiuchi and η Ophiuchi.[1] Consequently, ξ Serpentis itself is known as Tiān Shì Zuǒ Yuán shí (天市左垣十, English: the Tenth Star of Left Wall of Heavenly Market Enclosure), representing the region of Nanhai (南海, lit. meaning southern sea)[2][3]


  1. ^ (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.
  2. ^ (Chinese) AEEA (Activities of Exhibition and Education in Astronomy) 天文教育資訊網 2006 年 6 月 23 日
  3. ^ (Chinese) English-Chinese Glossary of Chinese Star Regions, Asterisms and Star Name Archived August 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine., Hong Kong Space Museum. Accessed on line November 23, 2010.