Arcturus - The Fourth brightest star in the sky

Saturday, August 11, 2012 0 comments

There are various constellations in this universe and countless number of stars and star systems. One such constellation is the Bootes constellation in the NQ3 quadrant. Arcturus is the brightest star in Bootes constellation. It has a visual magnitude of -0.04 and is the fourth brightest star in the night sky next to Sirius(-1.46), Canopus(-0.86) and Alpha Centauri (-0.27). This star is approximately 36.7 away from the Earth.

Arcturus moves at a speed of 122 km/s and is almost at its closest point to the Sun. It might come closer to Earth than it is now in about 4000 years. It moves in a stream along with other 52 stars in the Arcturus Stream. It is older than Sun. It is also beleived to be a binary star with its companion twenty times dimmer than its primary star.

Arcturus compared with Sun

Arcturus is visible from both the northern and southern hemispheres in the sky. As a subject to the study of asteroseismology, Arcturus has been beleived to have a slightly oscillating surface, like other red giant stars. It has been discovered that in case of red giants lik arcturus the more redder it gets, the more variable it will be.

Arcturus is also a star of many ancient civilizations and has a cultural significance, such as in ancient Greece it was belived to be the 'guardian'.In Indian culture it is called as 'Swati' ( a star in Hindu Astrology). In 1933 Arcturus achieved fame when its light was used to open the Chicago World's Fair.


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