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Gamma Virginis, 29 Virginis

Proper NamePorrima
Bayer DesignationGamma Virginis
Flamsteed Number29 Virginis
HR (BSC)4825
Right Ascension12h 41m 40s
Declination-1° 26' 58"
Distance38 light years
12 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +3.5
Absolute: +3.1
Spectral ClassF0V Bright Yellow Dwarfs (both binary components)
Optimum VisibilityApril
NotesThe two dwarf stars that make up this binary system follow an orbit around one another that takes 169 years to complete. They have recently passed their closest approach to one another, as seen from Earth, and the angular separation between the two stars is now gradually increasing.

A third magnitude star in the central regions of Virgo, lying just to the north of the line of the Ecliptic in the sky. Though it appears as a single star to the naked eye, Porrima is a binary system, and the two stars that make it up are comparatively close neighbours to the Solar System, in galactic terms, at a distance of about thirty-nine light years.

The two stars of this system, individually designated Porrima A and Porrima B, are very similar bright yellow stars pursuing a mutual orbit around one another over a period of about 169 years. The stars have just passed their point of closest approach (or periastron) as seen from Earth, and are now slowly moving apart from one another.


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