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Epsilon Crucis

Proper NameGinan
Bayer DesignationEpsilon Crucis
Flamsteed NumberNone
HR (BSC)4700
Right Ascension12h 21m 22s
Declination-60° 24' 4"
Distance230 light years
70 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +3.6
Absolute: -0.7
Spectral ClassK3-4III orange giant
Optimum VisibilityApril (Usually visible from southern latitudes)
NotesGinan is an evolved orange giant star some two billion years old. Having passed through the earlier hydrogen-burning phase of its existence and has begun burning helium in its core, and its outer layers have expanded to produce an object nearly one third of Astronomical Unit in diameter.

The fifth brightest of the stars that make up Crux, the Southern Cross, after the four bright stars that make up the cross shape itself. On schematic representations of the constellation (as for example on several national flags) Ginan is usually included as a smaller star shape nestling in the southwestern angle between Acrux and Delta Crucis.

Though fainter in the sky than the four main stars of the Cross, at a distance of some 230 light years, Ginan actually lies closer to the Sun than three of those four stars. Only Gacrux (the red northern star of the formation) is closer to the Solar System. Ginan is an orange giant star with no known companions. It has a diameter some thirty times that of the Sun, but as a star in the later stages of its life its matter is more tenuous, and its surface temperature of some 4,300K is about 25% lower than that of the Sun.


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