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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: 7:45  
clear_day Transit: 11:48  
SunsetSet: 15:51 south
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All Constellations » Ophiuchus » 

ξ Ophiuchi (xi Ophiuchi)

Altitude: -34.2°   Azimuth: 278.9°   Direction: West

ξ Ophiuchi is a double giant star in the constellation of Ophiuchus.

ξ Ophiuchi visual magnitude is 4.39. Because of its moderate brightness, ξ Ophiuchi should be easily visible from locations with dark skyes, while it can be barely visible, or not visible at all, from skyes affected by light pollution.

The table below summarizes the key facts about ξ Ophiuchi:


ξ Ophiuchi (xi Ophiuchi) is below the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt.

Altitude: -34.2°
Azimuth: 278.9°
Direction: West

Celestial coordinates and finder chart of ξ Ophiuchi

ξ 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 ξ Ophiuchi are provided in the following table:

17h 21m 00s
-21° 06’ 46”

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

Finder chart ξ Ophiuchi (xi Ophiuchi) star
Simplified finder chart for ξ Ophiuchi (xi Ophiuchi).

Visibility of ξ Ophiuchi 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 ξ Ophiuchi (xi Ophiuchi) 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: 111.1°
Max altitude: 17.4°
Azimuth: 248.9°

Digitized Sky Survey image of ξ Ophiuchi

The image below is a photograph of ξ 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 ξ Ophiuchi is 0.232 arcsec per year in Right Ascension and -0.206 arcsec per year in Declination and the associated displacement for the next 1000 years is represented with the red arrow.

Image of ξ Ophiuchi (xi Ophiuchi) star
DSS2 image of ξ Ophiuchi. The red arrow shows the motion of ξ Ophiuchi during the next 1000 years (3.87 arcmin in Right Ascension and -3.43 arcmin in declination);

Distance of ξ Ophiuchi from the Sun and relative movement

ξ Ophiuchi is distant 56.72 light years from the Sun and it is moving towards the Sun at the speed of 9 kilometers per second.

17.40 pc
56.72 ly
-9 km/s
0.232 arcsec/year
-0.206 arcsec/year

Spectral properties of ξ Ophiuchi

ξ Ophiuchi belongs to spectral class F1 and has a luminosity class of III corresponding to a giant star.


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

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

ξ Ophiuchi star system properties

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

3.7 arcsec

Alternative designations of ξ Ophiuchi

ξ Ophiuchi
(xi Ophiuchi)
40 Ophiuchi
Gl 670 A