A Conversation for Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram
PaulBateman Started conversation Nov 23, 2001
Good entry. Just a question or two.
Are there any stars within 50 light years of ours which are known to to be roughly Sun-like? If so, is it known whether there planets orbiting these starts and if so what sort of planets? (Sorry if this sounds like an essay question - I'm just curious and I didn't know how to put the question - luckily I didn't put the dreaded "compare and contrast" phrase in)
Cefpret Posted Nov 24, 2001
Well, there is a so-called 'counterpart of the sun'. It's HD44594, the star that is closest to the sun as far as physical properties are concerned. 'HD' means Henry Draper catalogue. Maybe there's an online version of the HD catalogue where you can find the position and distance. But the fact that it has such an odd name suggests that it's a very faint star.
Alpha Centauri, or Rigel Kent, or Toliman (all the same) is not only one of the closest stars (4.4 lightyears) but also very similar to the sun. Yellow, main sequence, just a little bit bigger.
As far as I know, astronomers have found strong hints for some planetarial systems, however I don't know whether Alpha Centauri is among them. I think Beta Pictoris was the first star where they saw something that is possibly a solar system.
PaulBateman Posted Nov 26, 2001
Sea Change Posted Dec 2, 2001
I have never heard of the alternative names for Alpha Centauri. Where do they come from?
Cefpret Posted Dec 3, 2001
I really don't know. 'Kent' is of course Centaurus, 'Rigil' maybe a part of the body? Wasn't Rigel the foot of Orion?
'Toliman' may be ancient Greek, there was a hero called 'Teleman'. Though I don't know. If somebody of you has a good connection, maybe do some internet research?
Sea Change Posted Dec 16, 2001
Frosty Drew Observatory has a large selection of arabic roots that explain Rigel Kent (among others). One site I saw linked Toliman to a bastardization of the Arabic for Ostrich, but it is the only one I found like that: most merely refer the name back to Alpha Centauri. I was hoping someone knew more.
Key: Complain about this post