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Al Kirkab

Kappa Geminorum, 77 Geminorum

Proper NameAl Kirkab
Bayer DesignationKappa Geminorum
Flamsteed Number77 Geminorum
HR (BSC)2985
Right Ascension7h 44m 27s
Declination+24° 23' 53"
Distance148 light years
45 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +3.56
Absolute: +0.28
Spectral ClassG8III yellow giant
Optimum VisibilityJanuary / February

A fourth-magnitude star in the eastern parts of Gemini, Al Kirkab lies southward of the pair of much brighter stars, Castor and Pollux, the Twins that give the entire constellation its name. Al Kirkab itself has a name that is said to derive from the Arabic for 'the vineyard husbandman'. Based on its observed parallax, Al Kirkab lies some 141 light years from the Sun.

Imagery provided by Aladin sky atlas

Physically, Al Kirkab is a yellow giant star in the later stages of its life. Though it has only approximately double the mass of the Sun, it has expanded to reach some eleven times the Sun's diameter, and is more than sixty times as luminous. Oscillations seen in the movement of this star imply that has a faint binary companion.


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