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Epsilon Carinae A/B

Artistic rendering of Avior binary system (Epsilon Carinae)
Observation data
Epoch J2000      Equinox J2000
Constellation Carina
Right ascension 08h 22m 30.8s
Declination −59° 30′ 35″
Apparent magnitude (V) 1.95 (~2.4 / ~3.1)
Spectral type K3 III/B2 V
U-B color index 0.19
B-V color index 1.20
Variable type Eclipsing
Radial velocity (Rv) 2 km/s
Proper motion (μ) RA: −25.34 mas/yr
Dec.: 22.72 mas/yr
Parallax (π) 5.16 ± 0.49 mas
Distance 630 ± 60 ly
(190 ± 20 pc)
Absolute magnitude (MV) −4.58
Mass 4.6/16 M
Radius 153/6 R
Luminosity 6,000/~11,000 L
Temperature 4,100/24,000 K
Metallicity ?
Rotation ?
Age ? years
Other designations
Avior, HR 3307, CD−59°1032, HD 71129, SAO 235932, FK5 315, HIP 41037, GC 11463, CCDM J08225-5931
Database references

Epsilon Carinae (ε Car / ε Carinae) is a star in the constellation Carina. At apparent magnitude +1.86 it is one of the brightest stars in the nighttime sky, but is not visible from the northern hemisphere.

It is also known by the name Avior, but this is not a classical name. It was assigned to the star by Her Majesty's Nautical Almanac Office in the late 1930s during the creation of The Air Almanac, a navigational almanac for the Royal Air Force. Of the fifty-seven stars included in the new almanac, two had no classical names: epsilon Carinae and alpha Pavonis. The RAF insisted that all of the stars must have names, so new names were invented. Alpha Pavonis was named Peacock, for obvious reasons, whilst epsilon Carinae was called Avior.[1]

Epsilon Carinae is a binary star located 630 light years away from the Earth. The primary component is a dying orange giant of spectral class K0 III, and the secondary is a hot hydrogen-fusing blue dwarf of class B2 V. The stars regularly eclipse each other, leading to brightness fluctuations on the order of 0.1 magnitudes.


  1. ^ Sadler, D.H.: "A Personal History of H.M. Nautical Almanac Office", page 46. Edited and privately published by Wilkins, G.A., 1993


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