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Also known as 9 Ceti, BE Ceti is located about 66.5 light-years (ly) from Sol. It lies at the southwest corner (0:22:51.8-12:12:33.0, ICRS 2000.0) of Constellation Cetus, the Whale or Sea Monster -- southwest of Iota Ceti, northwest of Deneb Kaitos or Diphda (Beta Ceti), southeast of 3 Ceti, and north of 6 Ceti.
BE Ceti is a yellow-orange main sequence dwarf star of spectral and luminosity type G2-3 V. A little bigger and brighter than Sol, the star may have a mass similar to Sol's (Guinan et al, 1999), 1.07 times its diameter (Pasinetti-Fracassini et al, 2001; and Perrin and Karoji, 1987), and 1.01 times its luminosity. It may be 1.45 times as enriched as Sol with elements heavier than hydrogen ("metallicity"), based on its abundance of iron (B.J. Taylor, 2003). A babe compared to Sol, analysis of isochrones suggests that BE Ceti may only be around 600 million years old (Messina and Guinan, 2003; and Guinan et al, 1999). It has been given the variable star designation BE Ceti for its BY-Draconis type variations in luminosity, which may be caused by rapid stellar rotation (every 7.66 days) of dark starspots (Stepien and Geyer, 1996; P.F. Chugainov 1980; and Bopp and Fekel, 1977). The star may be a member of the Hyades stellar moving group (Cayrel de Strobel, 1981; and Olin Jeuck, Eggen, 1978). Other useful catalogue numbers and designations for the star include: BE Cet, 9 Cet, HR 88, Gl 17.3 or Wo 9012, Hip 1803, HD 1835, BD-16 30, SAO 147237, and LTT 193.
Past radial velocity analysis suggests that giant planets of one tenth to 10 times the mass of Jupiter do not exist within 0.1 to four AUs of Star A (Cummings et al, 1999). An Earth-type planet could have liquid water in a stable orbit centered around 1.0 AU from around BE Ceti -- around the orbital distance of Earth in the Solar System. Such a planet would have an orbital period lasting close to one Earth year. As BE Ceti is currently variable in luminosity, however, it may not provide the stable luminosity best suited to complex, Earth-type life. If the star is as young as 600 million years old, moreover, the crust of a rocky inner planet may be violently volcanic and undergoing heavy bombardment by large asteroids and comets. Astronomers would find it very difficult to detect an Earth-sized planet around this star using present methods.
The following table includes all star systems known to be located within 10 light-years (ly), plus more bright stars within 10 to 20 ly, of BE Ceti.
|Star System||Spectra &|
|BD-10 47||K7 V||3.1|
|LP 704-1||DC8 /VII||3.9|
|6 Ceti||F5-7 V||6.9|
|BD-09 54||K2 V||9.9|
|LP 823-8||M V||9.9|
|* plus bright stars *||. . .|
|13 Ceti 4?||F6-8 V |
|HR 72 / HD 1461||G0 V||11|
|BD-05 138||G0 V||13|
|BD-01 31||A5 V||14|
|LP 645-46||G-K V||15|
|CD-23 315||G8-K0 V||15|
|Phi2 Ceti 2?||F7 V-IV |
|94 Aquarii 3?||G5-8 IV |
|BD-14 42||G2 V||19|
|BD-08 117 AB||G0 V |
Up-to-date technical summaries on these stars can be found at: the Astronomiches Rechen-Institut at Heidelberg's ARICNS, and the Nearby Stars Database. Additional information may be available at Roger Wilcox's Internet Stellar Database.
In Greek mythology, Cetus is supposed to be the sea monster that would have devoured the "chained maiden," Andromeda, if Perseus had not come to the rescue. For more information on stars and other objects in Constellation Cetus, go to Christine Kronberg's Cetus. For an illustration, see David Haworth's Cetus.
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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