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Thuban

Thuban, Alpha Draconis, is a white subdwarf. The star from 3942 to 1793 before our time was the naked-eye star closest to the celestial north pole - the polar star. The great pyramids of the Egypts were aimed at it. Today the week star is visible only from far away of artificial lights. One has to know exactly for what to look, to find it. But in about another 18 000 years it will be usable as polar star again. Maybe until then it will be noticeably brighter on its long way to become a red giant.

The star is orbited in a 51 days period by a small companion.

Constellation: Draco
Distance: 308 light-years
Spectral class: A0
Visual magnitude: 3.65
Mass: 3.4 * Sun
Luminosity: 265 * Sun

Back: List of big and giant stars

07/07/2007

    Thuban
Photo: ESO Online Digitized Sky Survey

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