Tuesday, December 16, 2003

My Birthday Star

No, I haven't suddenly decided to start believing in astrology. (If that ever happens, shoot me. It'll be the kindest thing.) But I did find this nifty website which asks you for your birthdate and then offers you the name of a star whose light, emitted at the time of your birth, is just now reaching the Earth. (In other words, when you look at the star in question, you're seeing it as it looked on the day you were born.)

My result, valid as of today (since it will of course change as I age):
Your birthday star is in the constellation Ophiuchus. It is called 12 Ophiuchi in the Historia Coelestis Britannica of John Flamsteed and Edmund Halley. It is called NS 1636-0219 in the NStars database.

It has visual magnitude 5.76 meaning that you could just see this star with the naked eye under the best viewing conditions.

A little more research reveals that this is "a main-sequence orange-red dwarf star of spectral and luminosity type K0-2 Ve," a variable star "whose variability is attributed to stellar rotation in which starspots covering a significant fraction of the stellar surface rotate in and out of the field of view."

I am oddly charmed by all of this for some reason.

(Link via The Presurfer.)

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