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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 » Perseus » 

Mirfak - α Persei (alpha Persei)

Altitude: 35.4°   Azimuth: 52.1°   Direction: North-East

Mirfak, also designated as α Persei (alpha Persei), is a variable and double supergiant star in the constellation of Perseus.

Mirfak visual magnitude is 1.79, making it the 34th brightest star in the sky. Thanks to its high brightness, Mirfak 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 Mirfak:


Mirfak - α Persei (alpha Persei) is above the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt.

Altitude: 35.4°
Azimuth: 52.1°
Direction: North-East

Celestial coordinates and finder chart of Mirfak

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

03h 24m 19s
+49° 51’ 39”

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

Finder chart Mirfak - α Persei (alpha Persei) star
Simplified finder chart for Mirfak - α Persei (alpha Persei).

Visibility of Mirfak from your location

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

Mirfak - α Persei (alpha Persei) is circumpolar and transits at 22:02 UTC (altitude: 88.4°)

Digitized Sky Survey image of Mirfak

The image below is a photograph of Mirfak 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 Mirfak is 0.024 arcsec per year in Right Ascension and -0.025 arcsec per year in Declination and the associated displacement for the next 10000 years is represented with the red arrow.

Image of Mirfak - α Persei (alpha Persei) star
DSS2 image of Mirfak. The red arrow shows the motion of Mirfak during the next 10000 years (4.00 arcmin in Right Ascension and -4.17 arcmin in declination);

Distance of Mirfak from the Sun and relative movement

Mirfak is distant 591.65 light years from the Sun and it is moving towards the Sun at the speed of 2 kilometers per second.

181.49 pc
591.65 ly
-2 km/s
0.024 arcsec/year
-0.025 arcsec/year

Spectral properties of Mirfak

Mirfak belongs to spectral class F5 and has a luminosity class of I corresponding to a supergiant star.


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

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

Mirfak star system properties

Mirfak 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 Mirfak double sysyem:

167 arcsec

Alternative designations of Mirfak

α Persei
(alpha Persei)