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This star is located about 30.1 light-years (ly) away from our Sun, Sol. It lies in the east central part (21:26:26.61-65:21:58.31, ICRS 2000.0) of Constellation Pavo, the Peacock, east of Beta Pavonis. As Gamma Pavonis has become one of the top 100 target stars for NASA's planned Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF), images of this star and its position relative to the Milky Way in Earth's night sky are now available from the TPF-C team.
Gamma Pavonis is a yellowish-white main sequence dwarf star of spectral and luminosity type F6-8 V. This star has at least eight tenths of Sol's mass (Bell et al, 1977, page 32), a slightly larger diameter (106 +/- 11 percent of Sol's) (Perrin and Karoji, 1987, page 236) and about 1.5 times of its luminosity. The star may be only be 12 to 25 percent as enriched as Sol with elements heavier than hydrogen ("metallicity") based on its abundance of iron (Cayrel de Strobel et al, 1991, page 302). It may be over 9.1 billion years old Edvardsson et al, 1993, page 124; and NG and Bertelli, 1998), and it also has a relatively high angular momentum around the galaxy (Bell et al, 1977). A recent interpretation of these characteristics is that Gamma Pavonis is an old disk star (Axer et al, 1995, pages 754 and 756; Barbuy and Edelyi-Mendes, pages 240 and 244); and Olin Jeuck Eggen, 1973, pages 822 and 828 (1919-1998)). It is a New Suspected Variable star designated NSV 13689. Useful star catalogue numbers for the star include: Gam Pav, HR 8181, Gl 827, Hip 105858, HD 203608, CD-65 2751, CP(D)-65 3918, SAO 254999, FK5 805, LHS 3674, LTT 8510, LPM 780, and LFT 1630.
Hunt for Substellar Companions
A 2.5-year search analyzing radial velocities failed to find a large Jupiter or brown dwarf within 10 AUs of Gamma Pavonis (Murdoch et al, 1993). The orbital distance from Gamma Pavonis where an Earth-type planet would be "comfortable" with liquid water is centered around 1.2 AU -- between the orbital distances of Earth and Mars in the Solar System. At that distance from the star, such a planet would have an orbital period that is greater than an Earth year. Astronomers are hoping to use NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) and the ESA's Darwin planned groups of observatories to search for a rocky inner planet in the so-called "habitable zone" (HZ) around Gamma Pavonis. As currently planned, the TPF will include two complementary observatory groups: a visible-light coronagraph to launch around 2014; and a "formation-flying" infrared interferometer to launch before 2020, while Darwin will launch a flotilla of three mid-infrared telescopes and a fourth communications hub beginning in 2015.
The following star systems are located within 10 light-years of Gamma Pavonis.
|Star System||Spectra &|
|L 49-19||K0 V||6.6|
|L 119-44||M V||8.5|
|GJ 1277||M4 V||9.0|
|CD-76 1182||M V||9.1|
|Zeta Tucanae 2?||F8-G0 V |
|CP-60 7528||M2 V||9.5|
Up-to-date technical summaries on these stars can be found at: the Astronomiches Rechen-Institut at Heidelberg's ARICNS, the Nearby Stars Database, and the Research Consortium on Nearby Stars (RECONS). Additional information may be available at Roger Wilcox's Internet Stellar Database.
Observable only in the southern hemisphere, Constellation Pavo is located between Telescopium to the north and Octans to the south. For more information about the stars and objects in this constellation, go to Christine Kronberg's Pavo. For an illustration, go to David Haworth's Pavo.
For more information about stars including spectral and luminosity class codes, go to ChView's webpage on The Stars of the Milky Way.
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