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Heka, Hatya, Lambda Orionis, 39 Orionis

Proper NamesMeissa, Heka, Hatya
Bayer DesignationLambda Orionis
Flamsteed Number39 Orionis
HR (BSC)1879
Right Ascension5h 35m 8s
Declination+9° 56' 3"
Distancec.1,100 light years
c.300 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +3.4
Absolute: -4.3
Spectral ClassO8III(f) Blue-white giant
Optimum VisibilityDecember / January
NotesMeissa is a multiple star, with the O-type primary being orbited by a blue dwarf and two other potential companion stars. Extending for many light years from this star and its cluster is a vast molecular ring, named the Lambda Orionis Ring (Lambda Orionis being Meissa's designation on the Bayer system). This ring is thought to be a remnant of a supernova that erupted in Meissa's vicinity roughly one million years in the past.

The head of Orion the Hunter is formed by a cluster of stars designated Collinder 69, the Lambda Orionis Cluster. In the sky, this cluster lies a little north of a line between Betelgeuse and Bellatrix. Meissa (also called Heka) is its brightest star - an intensely hot body of the O-type spectral classification. It shares the cluster with about twenty other stars.


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