AE Aurigae

AE Aurigae (abbreviated as AE Aur) is a runaway star in the constellation Auriga; it lights the Flaming Star Nebula.

AE Aurigae
Auriga constellation map.svg
Red circle.svg
Location of AE Aur (circled)
Observation data
Epoch J2000      Equinox J2000
Constellation Auriga
Right ascension  05h 16m 18.15000s[1]
Declination +34° 18′ 44.3455″[1]
Apparent magnitude (V) 5.96[2] (5.78 - 6.08[3])
Spectral type O9.5V[4]
U−B color index −0.70[2]
B−V color index +0.22[2]
Variable type Orion variable[3]
Radial velocity (Rv)56.70±0.6[5] km/s
Proper motion (μ) RA: -4.440[6] mas/yr
Dec.: 43.368[6] mas/yr
Parallax (π)2.4642 ± 0.0660[6] mas
Distance1,320 ± 40 ly
(410 ± 10 pc)
Mass23 M
Radius7.47 R
Luminosity59,000 L
Surface gravity (log g)4.0 cgs
Temperature33,000 K
Rotational velocity (v sin i)25[7] km/s
Other designations
GC 6429, IDS 05097+3412, GCRV 3123, IRAS 05130+3415, TYC 2398-894-1, ADS 3843, UBV M 10749, AG+34°542, GOS G172.08-02.26 01, uvby98 100034078 ABV, GSC 02398-00894, VDB 34, BD+34°980, HD 34078, PLX 1190, CCDM J05163+3419, PPM Star Catalogue 70112, AAVSO 0509+34, HIP 24575, ROT 748, WDS J05163+3419, CGO 80, SAO 57816, CSI+34 980 1, HR 1712
Database references


Nebula IC 405 around AE Aurigae

AE Aurigae is a blue O-type main sequence dwarf with a mean apparent magnitude of +6.0. It is classified as an Orion type variable star and its brightness varies irregularly between magnitudes +5.78 and +6.08. It is approximately 1,300 light-years from Earth.

AE Aur is a runaway star that might have been ejected during a collision of two binary star groups. This collision, which also is credited with ejecting Mu Columbae and possibly 53 Arietis, has been traced to the Trapezium cluster in the Orion Nebula two million years ago. The binary Iota Orionis may have been the other half of this collision.[8]

AE Aur is seen to light up the Flaming Star nebula, but it was not formed within it. Instead it is passing through the nebula at high speed and producing a violent bow shock and high energy electromagnetic radiation.[9][10]


Possibly due to its runaway star nature, AE Aurigae has no physical companion stars, although some nearby stars have been erroneously identified as ones. A theoretical companion 1000 AU (0.016 light-years) away from AE Aurigae would have an angular separation of less than 2.5 arcseconds and would probably be lost in the star's glare.


  1. ^ a b Van Leeuwen, F. (2007). "Validation of the new Hipparcos reduction". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 474 (2): 653. arXiv:0708.1752. Bibcode:2007A&A...474..653V. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20078357.
  2. ^ a b c Ducati, J. R. (2002). "VizieR Online Data Catalog: Catalogue of Stellar Photometry in Johnson's 11-color system". CDS/ADC Collection of Electronic Catalogues. 2237. Bibcode:2002yCat.2237....0D.
  3. ^ a b Samus, N. N.; Durlevich, O. V.; et al. (2009). "VizieR Online Data Catalog: General Catalogue of Variable Stars (Samus+ 2007-2013)". VizieR On-line Data Catalog: B/gcvs. Originally Published in: 2009yCat....102025S. 1. Bibcode:2009yCat....102025S.
  4. ^ Sota, A.; Maíz Apellániz, J.; Walborn, N. R.; Alfaro, E. J.; Barbá, R. H.; Morrell, N. I.; Gamen, R. C.; Arias, J. I. (2011). "The Galactic O-Star Spectroscopic Survey. I. Classification System and Bright Northern Stars in the Blue-violet at R ~ 2500". The Astrophysical Journal Supplement. 193 (2): 24. arXiv:1101.4002. Bibcode:2011ApJS..193...24S. doi:10.1088/0067-0049/193/2/24.
  5. ^ Kharchenko, N. V.; Scholz, R.-D.; Piskunov, A. E.; Röser, S.; Schilbach, E. (2007). "Astrophysical supplements to the ASCC-2.5: Ia. Radial velocities of ˜55000 stars and mean radial velocities of 516 Galactic open clusters and associations". Astronomische Nachrichten. 328 (9): 889. arXiv:0705.0878. Bibcode:2007AN....328..889K. doi:10.1002/asna.200710776.
  6. ^ a b c Brown, A. G. A.; et al. (Gaia collaboration) (August 2018). "Gaia Data Release 2: Summary of the contents and survey properties". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 616. A1. arXiv:1804.09365. Bibcode:2018A&A...616A...1G. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201833051.
  7. ^ a b Martins, F.; Hervé, A.; Bouret, J.-C.; Marcolino, W.; Wade, G. A.; Neiner, C.; Alecian, E.; Grunhut, J.; Petit, V. (2015). "The MiMeS survey of magnetism in massive stars: CNO surface abundances of Galactic O stars". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 575: A34. arXiv:1411.4420. Bibcode:2015A&A...575A..34M. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201425173.
  8. ^ Hoogerwerf, R.; De Bruijne, J. H. J.; De Zeeuw, P. T. (2001). "On the origin of the O and B-type stars with high velocities. II. Runaway stars and pulsars ejected from the nearby young stellar groups". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 365 (2): 49. arXiv:astro-ph/0010057. Bibcode:2001A&A...365...49H. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20000014.
  9. ^ López-Santiago, J.; Miceli, M.; Del Valle, M. V.; Romero, G. E.; Bonito, R.; Albacete-Colombo, J. F.; Pereira, V.; De Castro, E.; Damiani, F. (2012). "AE Aurigae: First Detection of Non-thermal X-Ray Emission from a Bow Shock Produced by a Runaway Star". The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 757: L6. arXiv:1208.6511. Bibcode:2012ApJ...757L...6L. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/757/1/L6.
  10. ^ France, Kevin; McCandliss, Stephan R.; Lupu, Roxana E. (2007). "A Cometary Bow Shock and Mid-Infrared Emission Variations Revealed in Spitzer Observations of HD 34078 and IC 405". The Astrophysical Journal. 655 (2): 920. arXiv:astro-ph/0610953. Bibcode:2007ApJ...655..920F. doi:10.1086/510481.

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