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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: 7:49  
clear_day Transit: 11:49  
SunsetSet: 15:50 south
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All Constellations » Cetus » 

Menkar - α Ceti (alpha Ceti)

Altitude: -32.3°   Azimuth: 21.9°   Direction: North-North-East

Menkar, also designated as α Ceti (alpha Ceti), is a variable giant star in the constellation of Cetus.

Menkar visual magnitude is 2.53, making it the 93th brightest star in the sky. Thanks to its high brightness, Menkar 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 Menkar:


Menkar - α Ceti (alpha Ceti) is below the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt.

Altitude: -32.3°
Azimuth: 21.9°
Direction: North-North-East

Celestial coordinates and finder chart of Menkar

Menkar 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 Menkar are provided in the following table:

03h 02m 16s
+04° 05’ 22”

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

Finder chart Menkar - α Ceti (alpha Ceti) star
Simplified finder chart for Menkar - α Ceti (alpha Ceti).

Visibility of Menkar 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 Menkar - α Ceti (alpha Ceti) 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: 85.9°
Max altitude: 42.6°
Azimuth: 274.1°

Digitized Sky Survey image of Menkar

The image below is a photograph of Menkar 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 Menkar is -0.009 arcsec per year in Right Ascension and -0.078 arcsec per year in Declination and the associated displacement for the next 10000 years is represented with the red arrow.

Image of Menkar - α Ceti (alpha Ceti) star
DSS2 image of Menkar. The red arrow shows the motion of Menkar during the next 10000 years (-1.50 arcmin in Right Ascension and -13.00 arcmin in declination);

Distance of Menkar from the Sun and relative movement

Menkar is distant 219.97 light years from the Sun and it is moving towards the Sun at the speed of 26 kilometers per second.

67.48 pc
219.97 ly
-26 km/s
-0.009 arcsec/year
-0.078 arcsec/year

Spectral properties of Menkar

Menkar belongs to spectral class M1 and has a luminosity class of III corresponding to a giant star.


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

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

Alternative designations of Menkar

α Ceti
(alpha Ceti)