A huge and brilliant orange star in the constellation of Auriga. Though it is extremely
luminous, it is also very distant from Earth (nearly 800 light years), and so it only
appears to be of relatively faint magnitude, varying around +3.86.
This variability is caused by a faint companion star crossing in front of the disc of
the primary supergiant. Every 972 days, a small blue star (actually, somewhat
larger than our own Sun, but small in comparison to its primary) moves between
the massive orange star and the Earth. This brief event causes the brightness
of Saclateni, as observed from Earth, to fall slightly.
Saclateni is a winter star of the northern hemisphere, and like all the stars of its
constellation Auriga, is most easily observed between November and January. It lies
directly on the band of the Milky Way, about 5° south of its brilliant