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Aldebaran(ăl'dĕb`ərən), brightest star in the constellation TaurusTaurus
[Lat.,= the bull], in astronomy, constellation NW of Orion and lying on the ecliptic (the sun's apparent path through the heavens) between Gemini and Aries; it is one of the constellations of the zodiac.
..... Click the link for more information. ; Bayer designation α Tauri; 1992 position R.A. 4h35.5m, Dec. +16°30'. An orange giant star (spectral classspectral class,
in astronomy, a classification of the stars by their spectrum and luminosity. In 1885, E. C. Pickering began the first extensive attempt to classify the stars spectroscopically.
..... Click the link for more information. K5 III) with apparent magnitude averaging 0.85, it is one of the 20 brightest stars in the sky. Aldebaran is a visual binary starbinary star
or binary system,
pair of stars that are held together by their mutual gravitational attraction and revolve about their common center of mass. In 1650 Riccioli made the first binary system discovery, that of the middle star in the Big Dipper's handle, Zeta
..... Click the link for more information. and an irregular variable starvariable star,
star that varies, either periodically or irregularly, in the intensity of the light it emits. Other physical changes are usually correlated with the fluctuations in brightness, such as pulsations in size, ejection of matter, and changes in spectral type, color, or
..... Click the link for more information. , with magnitudemagnitude,
in astronomy, measure of the brightness of a star or other celestial object. The stars cataloged by Ptolemy (2d cent. A.D.), all visible with the unaided eye, were ranked on a brightness scale such that the brightest stars were of 1st magnitude and the dimmest stars
..... Click the link for more information. ranging from 0.78 to 0.93. Its distance is 68 light-years. The name is from the Arabic meaning "follower (of the Pleiades)."
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Aldebaran(al-deb -ă-răn) (α Tau) A conspicuous red giant that is the brightest star in the constellation Taurus and lies in the line of sight of but much nearer than the Hyades. It is a slow irregular variable. It has two companions: one of 11th magnitude at 122″ separation, the other of 13th magnitude at 30″. mv : 0.85 (var.); Mv : –0.3; spectral type: K5 III; radius (by interferometer): 45 times solar radius; distance: 18 pc.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006
A red giant star of visual magnitude 1.06, spectral classification K5-III, in the constellation Taurus; the star α Tauri.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.