· · · ·

Psi1 Orionis lies close to Orion's Belt, and indeed an imaginary line north and west through the three stars of the Belt leads close to this blue star, though it is far fainter than any of Orion's three prominent Belt-stars. It lies less then two degrees from the star Psi2 Orionis that shares its Bayer designation, but in reality the two stars are unconnected: Psi1 is about 1,100 light years from Earth, while Psi2 is more than 300 light years farther away.

The star itself is belongs to the B-type, or Blue, Spectral Classification, and is an eruptive variable of the Gamma Cassiopeiae type. Stars of this kind rotate rapidly on their axes, expelling material from their equatorial regions and sometimes even forming belts, rings or disks of matter within their stellar systems. These eruptions of matter cause unpredictable variations in the star's magnitude, which in the case of Psi1 Orionis can shift between +4.92 and +4.96.

Indexes

Related Entries