Zeta Reticuli

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ζ Reticuli
Reticulum constellation map.svg
Red circle.svg
Location of ζ Reticuli (circled)
Observation data
Epoch J2000.0      Equinox J2000.0
Constellation Reticulum
ζ1 Ret
Right ascension 03h 17m 46.16331s[1]
Declination −62° 34′ 31.1541″[1]
Apparent magnitude (V) 5.52[2]
ζ2 Ret
Right ascension 03h 18m 12.81853s[3]
Declination −62° 30′ 22.9048″[3]
Apparent magnitude (V) 5.22[2]
Spectral type G3−5V + G2V[4]
U−B color index +0.08 / +0.01[2]
B−V color index +0.63 / +0.58[2]
R−I color index +0.34 / +0.34[4]
ζ1 Ret
Radial velocity (Rv)+12.21±0.17[1] km/s
Proper motion (μ) RA: +1,337.591[1] mas/yr
Dec.: +649.930[1] mas/yr
Parallax (π)83.0625 ± 0.0739 mas[1]
Distance39.27 ± 0.03 ly
(12.04 ± 0.01 pc)
Absolute magnitude (MV)5.11±0.01[5]
Absolute bolometric
ζ2 Ret
Radial velocity (Rv)+11.5[6] km/s
Proper motion (μ) RA: +1,331.151[7] mas/yr
Dec.: +648.523[7] mas/yr
Parallax (π)83.0122 ± 0.1888 mas[7]
Distance39.29 ± 0.09 ly
(12.05 ± 0.03 pc)
Absolute magnitude (MV)4.83[5]
Absolute bolometric
ζ1 Ret
Mass0.958[8] M
Radius0.92[8] R
Luminosity0.761[9] L
Surface gravity (log g)4.54±0.03[10] cgs
Temperature5,720±13[10] K
Metallicity [Fe/H]−0.206[10] dex
Rotational velocity (v sin i)1.98[11] km/s
Age1.5–3.0[12] Gyr
ζ2 Ret
Mass0.985[8] M
Radius0.99[8] R
Luminosity0.972[9] L
Surface gravity (log g)4.53±0.02[10] cgs
Temperature5,861±12[10] K
Metallicity [Fe/H]−0.215[10] dex
Rotational velocity (v sin i)1.74[11] km/s
Age1.5–3.0[12] Gyr
Other designations
ζ Reticuli, WDS J03182-6230
ζ1 Reticuli: ζ1 Ret, Zeta1 Ret, CPD−63°217, GJ 136, HD 20766, HIP 15330, HR 1006, SAO 248770, LFT 275, LHS 171, LTT 1573
ζ2 Reticuli: ζ2 Ret, Zeta2 Ret, CPD−62°265, GJ 138, HD 20807, HIP 15371, HR 1010, SAO 248774, LFT 276, LHS 172, LTT 1576
Database references
ζ2 Ret

Zeta Reticuli, Latinized from ζ Reticuli, is a wide binary star system in the southern constellation of Reticulum. From the southern hemisphere the pair can be seen with the naked eye as a double star in very dark skies. Based upon parallax measurements, this system is located at a distance of about 39.3 light-years (12 parsecs) from Earth. Both stars are solar analogs that have characteristics similar to those of the Sun. They belong to the Zeta Herculis Moving Group of stars that share a common origin.


At a declination of −62°, the system is not visible from Britain's latitude of +53°, so it never received a Flamsteed designation in John Flamsteed's 1712 Historia Coelestis Britannica. The Bayer designation for this star system, Zeta (ζ) Reticuli, originated in a 1756 star map by the French astronomer Abbé Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille.[13] Subsequently, the two stars received separate designations in the Cape Photographic Durchmusterung, which was processed between 1859 and 1903, then in the Henry Draper Catalogue, published between 1918 and 1924.[14]


The double star Zeta Reticuli is located in the western part of the small Reticulum constellation, about 25 from the constellation's border with Horologium. In dark southern skies, the two stars can be viewed separately with the naked eye, or with a pair of binoculars.[15] ζ1 Reticuli has an apparent magnitude of 5.52,[2] placing it on the border between 5th- and 6th-magnitude stars. ζ2 Reticuli is slightly brighter at magnitude 5.22.[2]

The two stars are located at similar distances from the Sun and share the same motion through space,[16] confirming that they are gravitationally bound and form a wide binary star system. They have an angular separation of 309.2 arcseconds (5.2 arcminutes);[17] far enough apart to appear as a close pair of separate stars to the naked eye under suitable viewing conditions. The distance between the two stars is at least 3,750 AU (0.06 light-year, or almost a hundred times the average distance between Pluto and the Sun), so their orbital period is 170,000 years or more.[18]

Both stars share similar physical characteristics to the Sun,[16] so they are considered solar analogs. Their stellar classification is nearly identical to that of the Sun. ζ1 has 96% of the Sun's mass and 84% of the Sun's radius. ζ2 is slightly larger and more luminous than ζ1, with 99% of the Sun's mass and 88% of the Sun's radius.[8][19] The two stars are somewhat deficient in metals, having only 60% of the proportion of elements other than hydrogen and helium as compared to the Sun.[4][20] For reasons that remain uncertain, ζ1 has an anomalously low abundance of beryllium.[11] Two possible explanations are: during the star's formation it underwent multiple intense bursts of mass accretion from a rapidly rotating protostellar cloud, or else the star underwent rotational mixing brought on by a period of rapid rotation during the star's youth.[21]

Both stars were considered unusual because they were thought to have had a lower luminosity than is normal for main-sequence stars of their age and surface temperature. That is, they lie below the main-sequence curve on the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram for newly formed stars. However, this was challenged, after using the much more accurate parallaxes from the Hipparcos catalogue (ESA, 1997), it was calculated that the stars actually have higher luminosities and so are shifted upwards, putting them in the main sequence.[4] Most stars will evolve above this curve as they age.[17]

ζ1 has an intermediate level of magnetic activity in its chromosphere[22] with an erratic variability. A long-term activity cycle of ~4.2 years has been tentatively identified.[23] ζ2 is more sedate, showing a much lower level of activity[24] with a ~7.9-year cycle, which may indicate it is in a Maunder Minimum state.[23] Although the kinematics of this system suggest that they belong to a population of older stars, the properties of their stellar chromospheres suggests that they are only about 2 billion years old.[25]

This star system belongs to the Zeta Herculis Moving Group of stars that share a common motion through space, suggesting that they have a common origin. In the galactic coordinate system, the [U, V, W] components of the space velocity for this system are equal to [−70.2, −47.4, +16.4] km/s for ζ1 and [−69.7, −46.4, +16.8] km/s for ζ2.[4] They are currently following an orbit through the Milky Way galaxy that has an eccentricity of 0.24. This orbit will carry the system as close as 17.4 kly (5.335 kpc) and as far as 28.6 kly (8.769 kpc) from the Galactic Center. The inclination of this orbit will carry the stars as much as 1.3 kly (0.4 kpc) from the plane of the galactic disk.[5] This likely puts them outside the thick disk population of stars.[17]

Alleged debris disk[edit]

Zeta Reticuli has no known extrasolar planets. In 2002, ζ1 was examined at an infrared wavelength of 25 μm, but no indication of an excess of infrared radiation was found.[26]

In 2007, the Spitzer Space Telescope was used to find an apparent infrared excess at a wavelength of 70 μm around ζ2. This radiation was attributed to emission by a debris disk with a mean temperature of 150 K (−123 °C), theorized to be orbiting the host star at a distance of 4.3 AU.[27] In 2010, the Herschel Space Observatory, a telescope with a comparatively superior spatial resolution and, unlike Spitzer, able to resolve radiation excesses beyond the wavelength of 70 μm, determined the infrared excess as coming from a two-lobed structure that looked like a debris disk seen edge-on. This debris disk interpreted as an analogy to the Kuiper belt with a semi-major axis of 100 AU and a temperature of 30–40 K.[28]

However, observations with ALMA from October and November 2017 revealed that the structure observed by Herschel shows no common proper motion with Zeta Reticuli. In these observations, no significant flux has been detected around ζ2, showing that the alleged debris disk is not real, but rather a case of background confusion. The observations demonstrate the need to follow up Herschel observations of debris disks.[29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Brown, A. G. A.; et al. (Gaia collaboration) (August 2018). "Gaia Data Release 2: Summary of the contents and survey properties". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 616. A1. arXiv:1804.09365. Bibcode:2018A&A...616A...1G. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201833051. Gaia DR2 record for this source at VizieR.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Feinstein, A. (1966). "Photoelectric observations of Southern late-type stars". Informational Bulletin of the Southern Hemisphere. 8: 30. Bibcode:1966IBSH....8...30F.
  3. ^ a b van Leeuwen, F. (November 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, S2CID 18759600
  4. ^ a b c d e f g del Peloso, E. F.; da Silva, L.; Porto de Mello, G. F. (June 2000). "zeta1 and zeta2 Reticuli and the existence of the zeta Herculis group". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 358: 233–241. Bibcode:2000A&A...358..233D.
  5. ^ a b c Holmberg, J.; Nordström, B.; Andersen, J. (July 2009). "The Geneva-Copenhagen survey of the solar neighbourhood. III. Improved distances, ages, and kinematics". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 501 (3): 941–947. arXiv:0811.3982. Bibcode:2009A&A...501..941H. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/200811191. S2CID 118577511.
  6. ^ Evans, D. S. (June 20–24, 1966). Batten, Alan Henry; Heard, John Frederick (eds.). "The Revision of the General Catalogue of Radial Velocities". Determination of Radial Velocities and their Applications, Proceedings from IAU Symposium no. 30. University of Toronto: International Astronomical Union. 30: 57. Bibcode:1967IAUS...30...57E.
  7. ^ a b c Brown, A. G. A.; et al. (Gaia collaboration) (August 2018). "Gaia Data Release 2: Summary of the contents and survey properties". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 616. A1. arXiv:1804.09365. Bibcode:2018A&A...616A...1G. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201833051. Gaia DR2 record for this source at VizieR.
  8. ^ a b c d e Takeda, G.; et al. (2007). "Stellar parameters of nearby cool stars. II. Physical properties of ~1000 cool stars from the SPOCS catalog". Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series. 168 (2): 297–318. arXiv:astro-ph/0607235. Bibcode:2007ApJS..168..297T. doi:10.1086/509763. S2CID 18775378. Note: see VizieR catalogue J/ApJS/168/297.
  9. ^ a b Eiroa, C.; Marshall, J. P.; Mora, A.; Montesinos, B.; Absil, O.; Augereau, J. Ch.; Bayo, A.; Bryden, G.; Danchi, W.; Del Burgo, C.; Ertel, S.; Fridlund, M.; Heras, A. M.; Krivov, A. V.; Launhardt, R.; Liseau, R.; Löhne, T.; Maldonado, J.; Pilbratt, G. L.; Roberge, A.; Rodmann, J.; Sanz-Forcada, J.; Solano, E.; Stapelfeldt, K.; Thébault, P.; Wolf, S.; Ardila, D.; Arévalo, M.; Beichmann, C.; et al. (2013). "DUst around NEarby Stars. The survey observational results". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 555: A11. arXiv:1305.0155. Bibcode:2013A&A...555A..11E. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201321050. S2CID 377244.
  10. ^ a b c d e f Adibekyan, V.; Delgado-Mena, E.; Figueira, P.; Sousa, S. G.; Santos, N. C.; Faria, J. P.; González Hernández, J. I.; Israelian, G.; Harutyunyan, G.; Suárez-Andrés, L.; Hakobyan, A. A. (2016). "Ζ2 Reticuli, its debris disk, and its lonely stellar companion ζ1 Ret. Different Tc trends for different spectra". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 591: A34. arXiv:1605.01918. Bibcode:2016A&A...591A..34A. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201628453. S2CID 119313511.
  11. ^ a b c Santos, N. C.; et al. (October 2004). "Beryllium anomalies in solar-type field stars". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 425 (3): 1013–1027. arXiv:astro-ph/0408109. Bibcode:2004A&A...425.1013S. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20040510. S2CID 17279966.
  12. ^ a b Mamajek, Eric E.; Hillenbrand, Lynne A. (November 2008). "Improved Age Estimation for Solar-Type Dwarfs Using Activity-Rotation Diagnostics". The Astrophysical Journal. 687 (2): 1264–1293. arXiv:0807.1686. Bibcode:2008ApJ...687.1264M. doi:10.1086/591785. S2CID 27151456.
  13. ^ Ridpath, Ian (1989). Star tales. James Clarke & Co. p. 11. ISBN 0-7188-2695-7.
  14. ^ "Naming astronomical objects". International Astronomical Union. Retrieved 2011-12-16.
  15. ^ Streicher, Magda (December 2009). "Reticulum: The Celestial Crosshairs". Monthly Notes of the Astronomical Society of South Africa. 68 (11/12): 242–246. Bibcode:2009MNSSA..68..242S.
  16. ^ a b da Silva, L.; Foy, R. (May 1987). "Zeta-1 and Zeta-2 RETICULI - A puzzling solar-type twin system". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 177 (1–2): 204–216. Bibcode:1987A&A...177..204D.
  17. ^ a b c Makarov, V. V.; Zacharias, N.; Hennessy, G. S. (November 2008). "Common Proper Motion Companions to Nearby Stars: Ages and Evolution". The Astrophysical Journal. 687 (1): 566–578. arXiv:0808.3414. Bibcode:2008ApJ...687..566M. doi:10.1086/591638. S2CID 17811620.
  18. ^ Kaler, James B. "ZETA RET (Zeta Reticuli)". Stars. University of Illinois. Retrieved 2011-11-16.
  19. ^ Pasinetti Fracassini, L. E.; et al. (February 2001). "Catalogue of Apparent Diameters and Absolute Radii of Stars (CADARS) - Third edition - Comments and statistics". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 367 (2): 521–524. arXiv:astro-ph/0012289. Bibcode:2001A&A...367..521P. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20000451. S2CID 425754. Note: using the method of Perrin and Karoji (1987).
  20. ^ A metallicity of −0.22 indicates that they have the following proportion of metals compared to the Sun: 10−0.22 = 0.603, or 60%.
  21. ^ Viallet, M.; Baraffe, I. (October 2012). "Scenarios to explain extreme Be depletion in solar-like stars: accretion or rotation effects?". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 546: 7. arXiv:1209.1812. Bibcode:2012A&A...546A.113V. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201219445. S2CID 55593554. A113.
  22. ^ Vieytes, M.; Mauas, P.; Cincunegui, C. (October 2005). "Chromospheric models of solar analogues with different activity levels". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 441 (2): 701–709. Bibcode:2005A&A...441..701V. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20052651.
  23. ^ a b Flores, M.; et al. (January 2021). "Detecting prolonged activity minima in binary stars. The case of ζ2 Reticuli". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 645: 5. arXiv:2012.08983. Bibcode:2021A&A...645L...6F. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/202039902. L6.
  24. ^ Flores, M.; et al. (May 2018). "ζ1 + ζ2 Reticuli binary system: a puzzling chromospheric activity pattern". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 476 (2): 2751–2759. arXiv:1801.08104. Bibcode:2018MNRAS.476.2751F. doi:10.1093/mnras/sty234.
  25. ^ Rocha-Pinto, Helio J.; Maciel, Walter J.; Castilho, Bruno V. (March 2002). "Chromospherically young, kinematically old stars". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 384 (3): 912–924. arXiv:astro-ph/0112452. Bibcode:2002A&A...384..912R. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20011815. S2CID 16982360.
  26. ^ Laureijs, R. J.; et al. (May 2002). "A 25 micron search for Vega-like disks around main-sequence stars with ISO" (PDF). Astronomy and Astrophysics. 387 (1): 285–293. Bibcode:2002A&A...387..285L. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20020366. hdl:1887/7333. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  27. ^ Trilling, D. E.; et al. (February 2008). "Debris Disks around Sun-like Stars". The Astrophysical Journal. 674 (2): 1086–1105. arXiv:0710.5498. Bibcode:2008ApJ...674.1086T. doi:10.1086/525514. S2CID 54940779. See table 6.
  28. ^ Eiroa, C.; et al. (July 2010). "Cold DUst around NEarby Stars (DUNES). First results. A resolved exo-Kuiper belt around the solar-like star ζ2 Ret". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 518: L131. arXiv:1005.3151. Bibcode:2010A&A...518L.131E. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201014594. S2CID 1662394.
  29. ^ Faramaz, V.; et al. (November 2018). "Is there really a debris disc around zeta2 Reticuli?". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 481: 44–48. arXiv:1809.00645. doi:10.1093/mnras/sty2304.

External links[edit]