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

τ Ophiuchi (tau Ophiuchi)

τ Ophiuchi is a variable and multiple main-sequence star in the constellation of Ophiuchus.

τ Ophiuchi visual magnitude is 5.24. Because of its reltive faintness, τ Ophiuchi should be visible only from locations with dark skyes, while it is not visible at all from skyes affected by light pollution.

The table below summarizes the key facts about τ Ophiuchi:

5.24
Main-sequence
τ Ophiuchi (tau Ophiuchi) is above the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]. Altitude: 14°.

Celestial coordinates and finder chart of τ Ophiuchi

τ Ophiuchi 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 τ Ophiuchi are provided in the following table:

18h 03m 04s
-08° 10’ 50”
20.06°
6.87°
Ophiuchus

The simplified sky map below shows the position of τ Ophiuchi in the sky:

Finder chart τ Ophiuchi (tau Ophiuchi) star
Simplified finder chart for τ Ophiuchi (tau Ophiuchi).

Visibility of τ Ophiuchi from your location

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

Today's τ Ophiuchi (tau Ophiuchi) rise, transit and set times from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change] are the following (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 98.2°
Max altitude: 30.3°
Azimuth: 261.8°
τ Ophiuchi (tau Ophiuchi) is above the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom

Digitized Sky Survey image of τ Ophiuchi

The image below is a photograph of τ Ophiuchi 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 τ Ophiuchi is 0.028 arcsec per year in Right Ascension and -0.037 arcsec per year in Declination and the associated displacement for the next 10000 years is represented with the red arrow.

Image of τ Ophiuchi (tau Ophiuchi) star
DSS2 image of τ Ophiuchi. The red arrow shows the motion of τ Ophiuchi during the next 10000 years (4.67 arcmin in Right Ascension and -6.17 arcmin in declination);

Distance of τ Ophiuchi from the Sun and relative movement

τ Ophiuchi is distant 169.61 light years from the Sun and it is moving towards the Sun at the speed of 40 kilometers per second.

52.03 pc
169.61 ly
-40 km/s
0.028 arcsec/year
-0.037 arcsec/year

Spectral properties of τ Ophiuchi

τ Ophiuchi belongs to spectral class F2 and has a luminosity class of V corresponding to a main-sequence star.

1.66
F2V
6989K

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

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

τ Ophiuchi star system properties

τ Ophiuchi 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 τ Ophiuchi double sysyem:

5.24
5.94
0.7
1.9 arcsec

Alternative designations of τ Ophiuchi

τ Ophiuchi
(tau Ophiuchi)
69 Ophiuchi
SAO142050
SAO142050
Gl 700.1A