Astronomy:Lambda Aurigae

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Lambda Aurigae (λ Aur, λ Aurigae) is the Bayer designation for a solar analog[1] star in the northern constellation of Auriga.[2] It is visible to the naked eye with an apparent visual magnitude of 4.71.[3] Based upon parallax measurements made during the Hipparcos mission, it is approximately 41.2 light-years (12.6 parsecs) distant from the Earth.[4]


This is a G-type main sequence star with a stellar classification of G1 V.[5] In terms of composition it is similar to the Sun, while the mass and radius are slightly larger.[6] It is 73% more luminous than the Sun[5] and radiates this energy from its outer atmosphere at an effective temperature of 5890 K.[7] At this heat, the star glows with the yellow hue of a G-type star.[8] It has a low level of surface activity and is a candidate Maunder minimum analog.[9]

Lambda Aurigae has been examined for the presence of excess infrared emission that may indicate the presence of a circumstellar disk of dust, but no significant surplus has been observed.[1] It is a possible member of the Epsilon Indi Moving Group of stars that share a common motion through space. The space velocity components of this star are [U, V, W] = [+76, –39, –6] km/s.[10]


This star may have been called by the name Al Hurr, meaning the fawn in Arabic.[11] Lambda Aurigae, along with μ Aur and ρ Aur, were Kazwini's Al Ḣibāʽ (ألحباع), the Tent.[11] According to the catalogue of stars in the Technical Memorandum 33-507 - A Reduced Star Catalog Containing 537 Named Stars, Al Ḣibāʽ were the title for three stars : λ Aur as Al Ḣibāʽ I, μ Aur as Al Ḣibāʽ II and σ Aur as Al Ḣibāʽ III.[12]

In Chinese, 咸池 (Xián Chí), meaning Pool of Harmony, refers to an asterism consisting of λ Aurigae, ρ Aurigae and HD 36041.[13] Consequently, the Chinese name for λ Aurigae itself is 咸池三 (Xián Chí sān, English: the Third Star of Pool of Harmony.)[14]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Greaves, J. S.; Wyatt, M. C.; Bryden, G. (August 2009), "Debris discs around nearby solar analogues", Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 397 (2): 757–762, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.15048.x, Bibcode2009MNRAS.397..757G. 
  2. Kaler, James, "LAMBDA AUR (Lambda Aurigae)", Stars,, retrieved 2011-12-11. 
  3. Johnson, H. L. et al. (1966), "UBVRIJKL photometry of the bright stars", Communications of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory 4 (99): 99, Bibcode1966CoLPL...4...99J. 
  4. van Leeuwen, Floor (November 2007), "Validation of the new Hipparcos reduction", Astronomy and Astrophysics 474 (2): 653–664, doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20078357, Bibcode2007A&A...474..653V.  Note: see VizieR catalogue I/311.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Boyajian, Tabetha S. et al. (February 2012), "Stellar Diameters and Temperatures. I. Main-sequence A, F, and G Stars", The Astrophysical Journal 746 (1): 101, doi:10.1088/0004-637X/746/1/101, Bibcode2012ApJ...746..101B. . See Table 10.
  6. Takeda, Genya et al. (February 2007), "Structure and Evolution of Nearby Stars with Planets. II. Physical Properties of ~1000 Cool Stars from the SPOCS Catalog", The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 168 (2): 297–318, doi:10.1086/509763, Bibcode2007ApJS..168..297T. 
  7. Kovtyukh, V. V. et al. (2003), "High precision effective temperatures for 181 F-K dwarfs from line-depth ratios", Astronomy and Astrophysics 411 (3): 559–564, doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20031378, Bibcode2003A&A...411..559K. 
  8. "The Colour of Stars", Australia Telescope, Outreach and Education (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation), December 21, 2004, archived from the original on March 10, 2012,, retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  9. Lubin, Dan; Tytler, David; Kirkman, David (March 2012), "Frequency of Maunder Minimum Events in Solar-type Stars Inferred from Activity and Metallicity Observations", The Astrophysical Journal Letters 747 (2): L32, doi:10.1088/2041-8205/747/2/L32, Bibcode2012ApJ...747L..32L. 
  10. Kovacs, N.; Foy, R. (August 1978), "A detailed analysis of three stars in the Eggen's Epsilon INDI moving group", Astronomy and Astrophysics 68 (1–2): 27–31, Bibcode1978A&A....68...27K. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 Allen, R. H. (1963). Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning (Reprint ed.). New York, NY: Dover Publications Inc. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-486-21079-7. Retrieved 2010-12-12. 
  12. Rhoads, Jack W. (November 15, 1971), Technical Memorandum 33-507-A Reduced Star Catalog Containing 537 Named Stars, California Institute of Technology: Jet Propulsion Laboratory,, retrieved 2012-08-19. 
  13. (in Chinese) 中國星座神話, written by 陳久金. Published by 台灣書房出版有限公司, 2005, ISBN:978-986-7332-25-7.
  14. (in Chinese) AEEA (Activities of Exhibition and Education in Astronomy) 天文教育資訊網 2006 年 7 月 13 日

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