Thursday, August 14, 2008


Star type
g K2 IIIep

Distance from Earth
g 36.89322 ly

Star Service No.
g NA

g Less than 4.6 billion years

Diameter/Mass/Temp (xSol)
g NA; 350%; 4,300 K

Brightness (xSol)
g 210%

g 20%–50%

Comparison to Sol
g See illustration

Picture of star
g NA

Star system features
g Star is entering red giant phase; thought to be an old population star

Known planets
g NA

Habitable zone
g NA

Orbital map
g NA

View from star
g NA

Nearby stars
(Star systems with 10 light years)
g NA

Map locating star system
g NA

Location in Earth sky
g In the constellation Boötis; it is also the third brightest star in the night sky, after Sirius and Canopus. It is, however, fainter than the combined light of the two main components of Alpha Centauri, which are too close together for the eye to resolve as separate sources of light, making Arcturus appear to be the fourth brightest. It is the second brightest star visible from northern latitudes and the brightest star in the northern celestial hemisphere.

Other names
g HD 124897; HIP 69673; Gl 541; BD +19° 2777; YPC 3242.00; LHS 48; Alf Boo; Alp Boo; Alpha Bootis; α Boo; α Boötis; Alramech; Abramech; 16 Boötes; HR 5340; BD+19°2777; GCTP 3242.00

Sci-fi mentions
g A Voyage to Arcturus (1920), novel by David Lindsay. Arcturus is an inhabited binary system.
g In the 1964 alternate history timeline depicted in Fredric Brown's "What Mad Universe", human beings are engaged in a total war with the Arcturians, whose form is never precisely described and who seek to conquer Earth and the Solar System and exterminate all beings other than themselves. Humans use for them the pejorative term "Arcs", modeled on "Japs" for Japanese.
g The Foundation Series, novels by Isaac Asimov. Arcturus is the capital of the Sirius Sector in the Galactic Empire.
g "Alien From Arcturus" (1956), expanded as Arcturus Landing (1978), is a science fiction novel written by Gordon R. Dickson describing an attempt to build a form of FTL propulsion.
g In the Doctor Who serial "The Curse of Peladon" (1972), Mars and Arcturus are depicted as old enemies.
g The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979) series by Douglas Adams. The "Arcturan Megadonkey", "Arcturan Megafreighter" and other things with similar names presumably originate on a planet orbiting Arcturus. See Places in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy#Arcturus for more information.
g Marvel comics. The Arcturan system is binary and has at least four planets. It is inhabited by the Fortisquian alien species.
g Aliens (1986), film. Arcturus is a planet the space marines visited for a furlough.
g Spaced Invaders (1990), comic film. The Martians are fighting a war with the "Arcturians", from the Arcturus system.
g GDW's 2300 AD, role-playing game. Arcturus is the location of Station Arcture, a human research station invaded by the alien race of Kafers. In the module 'Mission Arcturus', players are bound to retake the station from the Aliens.
g Frontier: Elite II and Frontier: First Encounters, computer games. A Federation member, this system was colonized in 2304. The system's habitable planet, Discovery, had its flora and fauna replaced with specimens imported from Earth around the same time period. Aside from the local belief that the red giant star will remain stable until the end of time, Arcturus is more infamous as being the home system of the deadly (and exceedingly popular) narcotic known as "Arcturan Megaweed".
g Escape Velocity Nova, computer game by Ambrosia Software. The Arcturus System is a remote but well-travelled Federation system whose main income is from mining on the planet Fermia. It also features prominently in one of the minor mission strings.
g "Mass Effect", Xbox 360 game. Included in its backstory are details on Arcturus Station in the system of the same name; it acts as the hub of several mass relays and is one relay-jump from Earth and Sol.
g Star Control II, Arcturus contains the homeworld of a now-extinct race called the Burvixese. Alpha Bootis however is represented as a separate system in another part of the galaxy.
g Tékumel, books and games by M. A. R. Barker. Arcturus is the solar system from which originate the nonhuman species called the Páchi Léi, or Forest Dwellers.
g In "Star Trek", the Arcturian dog bird is a notoriously crazy and uncontrollable life-form native to Arcturus. Montgomery Scott once called James T. Kirk "loony as an Arcturian dog bird" after being informed that they were to beam Abraham Lincoln aboard (TOS: "The Savage Curtain").

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