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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: 7:54  
clear_day Transit: 11:51  
SunsetSet: 15:49 south
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All Constellations » Centaurus » 

Menkent - θ Centauri (theta Centauri)

Altitude: -65.7°   Azimuth: 298.0°   Direction: West-North-West

Menkent, also designated as θ Centauri (theta Centauri), is a double hypergiant star in the constellation of Centaurus.

Menkent visual magnitude is 2.06, making it the 55th brightest star in the sky. Thanks to its high brightness, Menkent 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 Menkent:


Menkent - θ Centauri (theta Centauri) is below the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt.

Altitude: -65.7°
Azimuth: 298.0°
Direction: West-North-West

Celestial coordinates and finder chart of Menkent

Menkent 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 Menkent are provided in the following table:

14h 06m 41s
-36° 22’ 11”

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

Finder chart Menkent - θ Centauri (theta Centauri) star
Simplified finder chart for Menkent - θ Centauri (theta Centauri).

Visibility of Menkent 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 Menkent - θ Centauri (theta Centauri) 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: 126.4°
Max altitude: 2.2°
Azimuth: 233.6°

Digitized Sky Survey image of Menkent

The image below is a photograph of Menkent 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 Menkent is -0.519 arcsec per year in Right Ascension and -0.519 arcsec per year in Declination and the associated displacement for the next 1000 years is represented with the red arrow.

Image of Menkent - θ Centauri (theta Centauri) star
DSS2 image of Menkent. The red arrow shows the motion of Menkent during the next 1000 years (-8.65 arcmin in Right Ascension and -8.65 arcmin in declination);

Distance of Menkent from the Sun and relative movement

Menkent is distant 60.91 light years from the Sun and it is moving far from the Sun at the speed of 1 kilometers per second.

18.68 pc
60.91 ly
1 km/s
-0.519 arcsec/year
-0.519 arcsec/year

Spectral properties of Menkent

Menkent belongs to spectral class K0 and has a luminosity class of III corresponding to a hypergiant star.


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

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

Menkent star system properties

Menkent 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 Menkent double sysyem:

69.9 arcsec

Alternative designations of Menkent

θ Centauri
(theta Centauri)