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Delta Orionis, 34 Orionis

Proper NamesMintaka
Bayer DesignationDelta Orionis A, B, C
Flamsteed Number34 Orionis A, B, C
BSC1852 (A, B), 1851 (C)
HD36486 (A, B), 36485 (C)
Right Ascension5h 32m 0s
Declination-0° 17' 57"
Distance692 light years
212 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +2.2 (A, B), +6.8 (C)
Absolute: -4.4 (A, B), -2.5 (C)
Spectral ClassO9.5II Blue-white Bright Giant (A), O9V Blue-white Dwarf (B), B2Vsn Blue Dwarf (C)
Optimum VisibilityDecember / January
NotesMintaka is a complex multiple system. At the heart of the system is a giant blue star, which has at least one close companion whose eclipses of the giant cause its magnitude to vary every 5.7 days. Beyond the primary lie two more stars in more distant orbits, and the outermost of these is itself a binary system.

The westernmost of the stars that make up Orion's Belt is also the faintest, as seen from Earth. In fact, Mintaka is a highly luminous body, but appears faint due to its great distance: it is almost seven hundred light years from the Solar System. At a distance of ten parsecs, it would shine more brightly than the planet Venus.


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