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Sunday, September 25, 2011

94 Ceti

The orbital habitat, Avenir, circles the planet Eclectia which in turn orbits the star 94 Ceti A (known to the locals as “The Whale”), one of a binary star system in the constellation Cetus or the Whale (seen from Earth in the southern skies). The secondary star of the system, 94 Ceti B orbits the primary at an average of 151 AU (Astronomical Units).

94 Ceti A is a yellow-white dwarf star belonging to the main-sequence and has a spectral classification of F8V*. It's partner, 94 Ceti B (known as the “Twin Whale” or just “Twin”) is a M3V red dwarf. That 94 Ceti A had a planet orbiting it was discovered 7 August 2000 AD (old form).

* A word about stellar spectral classifications:

Star are classified by their color and size. The color of a star gives an idea of its temperature. The color of a star is denoted by a letter as follows:

O Blue

B Blue-White

A White

F Yellow-White

G Yellow

K Orange

M Red

The letters run from hottest to coolest. A mnemonic used by astronomers runs: “Oh Be A Fine Girl/Guy, Kiss Me.”

The number in the designation denotes how close the star is to the next coolest type. There are ten units between each type. Thus, 94 Ceti A is 8 tenths of the way to being a “G” type star (Sol, our star is a yellow G2V type star).

The “V” in the designation is actually the Roman numeral for number “five.” This denotes that 94 Ceti A and 94 Ceti B are both dwarf stars or main-sequence stars like our Sun. (94 Ceti B is 3 tenths of the way to being a type “L” brown dwarf. While “L” does not appear as part of the mnemonic because of the brown dwarfs' discovery long after its invention, certain elements among the community have suggested adding the word, “Languorously” to it.)

1 comment:

  1. So that means the Whale Star is just a touch hotter than our Sol. But Eclectia orbits at a greater distance than we do, too.

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