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A Complete Guide to the Solar System and the Night Sky
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public Observing fromLocation: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt
north SunriseRise: 7:48  
clear_day Transit: 11:49  
SunsetSet: 15:50 south
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All Constellations » Taurus » 

Alcyone - η Tauri (eta Tauri)

Altitude: -1.8°   Azimuth: 45.9°   Direction: North-East

Alcyone, also designated as η Tauri (eta Tauri), is a multiple giant star in the constellation of Taurus.

Alcyone visual magnitude is 2.87. Thanks to its high brightness, Alcyone is clearly visible when observed from locations with dark skyes, and should be also quite easily visible from light polluted areas.

The table below summarizes the key facts about Alcyone:


Alcyone - η Tauri (eta Tauri) is below the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt.

Altitude: -1.8°
Azimuth: 45.9°
Direction: North-East

Celestial coordinates and finder chart of Alcyone

Alcyone is situated close to the celestial equator, as such, it is at least partly visible from both hemispheres in certain times of the year. Celestial coordinates for the J2000 equinox as well as galactic coordinates of Alcyone are provided in the following table:

03h 47m 29s
+24° 06’ 18”

The simplified sky map below shows the position of Alcyone in the sky:

Finder chart Alcyone - η Tauri (eta Tauri) star
Simplified finder chart for Alcyone - η Tauri (eta Tauri).

Visibility of Alcyone from your location

Location: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt
Latitude: 51° 28’ 47” N
Longitude: 0° 00’ 00” E
Timezone: Europe/London

Today's Alcyone - η Tauri (eta Tauri) rise, transit and set times from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt are the following (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 65.9°
Max altitude: 62.6°
Azimuth: 294.1°

Digitized Sky Survey image of Alcyone

The image below is a photograph of Alcyone from the Digitized Sky Survey 2 (DSS2 - see the credits section) taken in the red channel. The area of sky represented in the image is 0.5x0.5 degrees (30x30 arcmins). The proper motion of Alcyone is 0.019 arcsec per year in Right Ascension and -0.046 arcsec per year in Declination and the associated displacement for the next 10000 years is represented with the red arrow.

Image of Alcyone - η Tauri (eta Tauri) star
DSS2 image of Alcyone. The red arrow shows the motion of Alcyone during the next 10000 years (3.17 arcmin in Right Ascension and -7.67 arcmin in declination);

Distance of Alcyone from the Sun and relative movement

Alcyone is distant 367.53 light years from the Sun and it is moving far from the Sun at the speed of 10 kilometers per second.

112.74 pc
367.53 ly
10 km/s
0.019 arcsec/year
-0.046 arcsec/year

Spectral properties of Alcyone

Alcyone belongs to spectral class B7 and has a luminosity class of III corresponding to a giant star.


The red dot in the diagram below shows where Alcyone is situated in the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram.

HR Diagram
H-R diagram showing the position of Alcyone. Attribution: Richard Powell / CC BY-SA

Alcyone star system properties

Alcyone is a visual double star which can be observed only with the help of very large telescopes. The table below shows key information about the Alcyone double sysyem:

0 arcsec

Alternative designations of Alcyone

η Tauri
(eta Tauri)