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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
SunriseRise: 6:57  
clear_day Transit: 12:11  
SunsetSet: 17:27
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All Constellations » Centaurus » 

γ Centauri (gamma Centauri)

Altitude: -80.1°   Azimuth: 278.8°   Direction: West

γ Centauri is a multiple sub-giant star in the constellation of Centaurus.

γ Centauri visual magnitude is 2.17. Thanks to its high brightness, γ Centauri is clearly visible when observed from locations with dark skyes, and should be also quite easily visible from light polluted areas.

The proper motion of γ Centauri is -0.189 arcsec per year in Right Ascension and -0.005 arcsec per year in Declination and the associated displacement for the next 1000 years is represented with the red arrow.

Image of γ Centauri (gamma Centauri) star
DSS2 image of γ Centauri. The red arrow shows the motion of γ Centauri during the next 1000 years (-3.15 arcmin in Right Ascension and -0.08 arcmin in declination);

Key facts about γ Centauri


γ Centauri (gamma Centauri) is below the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt.

Altitude: -80.1°
Azimuth: 278.8°
Direction: West

Celestial coordinates and finder chart of γ Centauri

γ Centauri is situated south of the celestial equator, as such, it is more easily visible from the southern hemisphere. Celestial coordinates for the J2000 equinox as well as galactic coordinates of γ Centauri are provided in the following table:

12h 41m 30s
-48° 57’ 34”

The simplified sky map below shows the position of γ Centauri in the sky:

Finder chart γ Centauri (gamma Centauri) star
Simplified finder chart for γ Centauri (gamma Centauri).

Visibility of γ Centauri from your location

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

γ Centauri (gamma Centauri) is currently not visible from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt

Distance of γ Centauri from the Sun and relative movement

γ Centauri is distant 130.35 light years from the Sun and it is moving towards the Sun at the speed of 6 kilometers per second.

39.98 pc
130.35 ly
-6 km/s
-0.189 arcsec/year
-0.005 arcsec/year

Spectral properties of γ Centauri

γ Centauri belongs to spectral class A1 and has a luminosity class of IV corresponding to a sub-giant star.


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

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

γ Centauri star system properties

γ Centauri is a visual double star which can be observed with the help of medium or large telescopes. The table below shows key information about the γ Centauri double sysyem:

1.5 arcsec

Alternative designations of γ Centauri

γ Centauri
(gamma Centauri)