Your guide to the Solar System and the night sky
🌎 Location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]

η Cephei (eta Cephei)

η Cephei is a double hypergiant star in the constellation of Cepheus.

η Cephei visual magnitude is 3.43. Because of its moderate brightness, η Cephei should be easily visible from locations with dark skyes, while it can be barely visible, or not visible at all, from skyes affected by light pollution.

The table below summarizes the key facts about η Cephei:

η Cephei (eta Cephei) is above the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]. Altitude: 58°.

Celestial coordinates and finder chart of η Cephei

η Cephei is situated close to the northern celestial pole and, as such, it is visible for most part of the year from the northern hemisphere. Celestial coordinates for the J2000 equinox as well as galactic coordinates of η Cephei are provided in the following table:

20h 45m 17s
+61° 50’ 20”

The simplified sky map below shows the position of η Cephei in the sky:

Finder chart η Cephei (eta Cephei) star
Simplified finder chart for η Cephei (eta Cephei).

Visibility of η Cephei from your location

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

η Cephei (eta Cephei) is circumpolar and transits at 18:34 UTC (altitude: 79.6°)

Digitized Sky Survey image of η Cephei

The image below is a photograph of η Cephei 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 η Cephei is 0.087 arcsec per year in Right Ascension and 0.818 arcsec per year in Declination and the associated displacement for the next 1000 years is represented with the red arrow.

Image of η Cephei (eta Cephei) star
DSS2 image of η Cephei. The red arrow shows the motion of η Cephei during the next 1000 years (1.45 arcmin in Right Ascension and 13.63 arcmin in declination);

Distance of η Cephei from the Sun and relative movement

η Cephei is distant 46.75 light years from the Sun and it is moving towards the Sun at the speed of 87 kilometers per second.

14.34 pc
46.75 ly
-87 km/s
0.087 arcsec/year
0.818 arcsec/year

Spectral properties of η Cephei

η Cephei belongs to spectral class K0 and has a luminosity class of IV corresponding to a hypergiant star.


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

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

η Cephei star system properties

η Cephei 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 η Cephei double sysyem:

51.7 arcsec

Alternative designations of η Cephei

η Cephei
(eta Cephei)