Epoch J2000.0 Equinox J2000.0
|Right ascension||08h 55m 23.62614s|
|Declination||+05° 56′ 44.0354″|
|Apparent magnitude (V)||3.10|
|Spectral type||G9 II-III|
|U−B color index||+0.82|
|B−V color index||+1.00|
|Radial velocity (Rv)||+22.8 km/s|
|Proper motion (μ)||RA: –100.06 mas/yr
Dec.: +15.46 mas/yr
|Parallax (π)||19.51 ± 0.18 mas|
|Distance||167 ± 2 ly
(51.3 ± 0.5 pc)
|Absolute magnitude (MV)||–0.24|
|Surface gravity (log g)||2.48 cgs|
|Metallicity [Fe/H]||–0.21 dex|
|Rotational velocity (v sin i)||2.5 km/s|
Zeta Hydrae (ζ Hya, ζ Hydrae) is a solitary star in the equatorial constellation of Hydra. This is a generally faint constellation, so, at an apparent visual magnitude of +3.10, this is the third-brightest member after Alphard and Gamma Hydrae. The distance to this star has been measured using the parallax technique, yielding a value of roughly 167 light-years (51 parsecs). At this distance, the visual magnitude of the star is diminished by 0.03 as a result of extinction from intervening gas and dust. The star Delta Hydrae is located 12.9 light-years (4.0 parsecs) from Zeta Hydrae and may be a co-moving companion.
With a stellar classification of G9 II-III, this is an evolved giant star that is radiating 132 times the luminosity of the Sun from its outer envelope at an effective temperature of 4,925 K. At this heat, the star glows with the yellow hue of a G-type star. The radius of this star, as measured using interferometry, is about 18 times the Sun's radius. It has an estimated 4.2 times the mass of the Sun and is around 400 million years old.
Name and etymology
This star, along with δ Hya (Lisan al Sudja), ε Hya, η Hya, ρ Hya and σ Hya (Minhar al Shija), were Ulug Beg's Min al Azʽal, "Belonging to the Uninhabited Spot". According to the catalogue of stars in the Technical Memorandum 33-507 - A Reduced Star Catalog Containing 537 Named Stars, Min al Azʽal or Minazal were the title for five stars:δ Hya as Minazal I, η Hya as Minazal II, ε Hya as Minazal III, ρ Hya as Minazal IV and ζ Hya as Minazal V (exclude σ Hya).
In Chinese, 柳宿 (Liǔ Sù), meaning Willow, refers to an asterism consisting of ζ Hydrae, δ Hydra, σ Hydrae, η Hydrae, ρ Hydrae, ε Hydrae, ω Hydrae and θ Hydrae Consequently, ζ Hydrae itself is known as 柳宿六 (Liǔ Sù liù, English: the Sixth Star of Willow).
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