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Position of Antares in Scorpius

Antares (α Scorpii, Alpha Scorpii) is a red supergiant star in the Milky Way galaxy and the sixteenth brightest star in the nighttime sky. It is sometimes listed as 15th brightest, depending on how the two brighter components of the Capella quadruple star system are counted.

Antares is the brightest and most massive star in the Scorpius-Centaurus Association. The Scorpius-Centaurus Association contains thousands of stars with a mean age of 11 million years.[1]

Antares has a secondary, or companion star, Antares B. The orbit of the companion star is poorly known, with an estimated period of 1,200 to 2,562 years.

Antares has a radius of about 883 times that of the Sun. If placed in the center of our solar system, its outer surface would lie between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Antares is about 550 light-years (170 parsecs) from the Earth. Its visual luminosity is about 10,000 times that of the Sun. Because the star radiates much of its energy in the infrared part of the spectrum, the bolometric luminosity is about 65,000 times that of the Sun.[2] The mass of the star is in the range of 15 to 18 solar masses.

References[change | change source]

  1. Pecaut, Mark J. et al 2012. A revised age for Upper Scorpius and the star formation history among the F-type members of the Scorpius-Centaurus OB Association. Astrophysical Journal 746 (2): 154 [1].
  2. Schaaf, Fred 2008. The brightest stars: discovering the Universe through the sky's most brilliant stars. Wiley. p. 218. ISBN 978-0-471-70410-2