ι Centauri


Iota Centauri is the Centaur's right shoulder, a 2.8 magnitude star.

While it's found in an unusually vacant region of Centaurus, there is one star here which is of interest, h4571: 6.8, 9.1; 266, 23.5". A little too close for binoculars, a fine sight in small telescopes.

With iota centred, move one field northeast: T Centauri will be nearly centred.

T Centauri is classified as an RV Tauri variable with a range from 5.5 to about 8.4, with a period of roughly 181 days (although other sources give it a 91 day period). The maximum is very briefly maintained, before the star elapses to under naked-eye visibility. The star is about 1400 light years away.

2 Centauri, to the southeast, is a red giant 4.2 magnitude, 180 light years away.

There are three binaries in the same field: 3 Cen, 4 Cen, and h4608.
      3 Cen (H III 101): 4.5, 6.0; 105, 8.4"
      4 Cen (H N51): 4.7, 8.5; 185, 15.4"
      h4608: 7.4, 7.5; 9, 4.3"

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1999-2014 by Richard Dibon-Smith.