RT Carinae

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RT Carinae
RT Carinae is the bright orange star south of the Trumpler 15 cluster.
Observation data
Epoch J2000.0      Equinox J2000.0
Constellation Carina
Right ascension 10h 44m 47.14715s[1]
Declination −59° 24′ 48.1296″[1]
Apparent magnitude (V) 8.36[2] (8.2 - 9.9[3])
Spectral type M2 Iab[4]
B−V color index +2.31[2]
Variable type LC[3]
Radial velocity (Rv)−20.91[5] km/s
Proper motion (μ) RA: −8.31[1] mas/yr
Dec.: 2.30[1] mas/yr
Parallax (π)2.28 ± 1.03[1] mas
Distanceapprox. 1,400 ly
(approx. 400 pc)
Absolute magnitude (MV)−6.74[2]
Radius1,090 R
Diameter1,090 D
Luminosity (bolometric)184,000 L
Surface gravity (log g)−0.3 cgs
Temperature3,625 K
Other designations
RT Car, HD 303310, HIP 52562, SAO 238424, CD−58°3538, AAVSO 1040-58
Database references

RT Carinae (HD 303310, HIP 52562, SAO 238424) is a variable star in the Carina Nebula in the constellation Carina. It has a mean apparent magnitude of +8.55.

RT Carinae is a red supergiant with a spectral type of M2 Ia and has a temperature of 3,625 K. With a diameter over 1,000 times the Sun, it is one of the largest stars known. The luminosity is estimated to be 184,000. It is close to the open cluster Trumpler 15, but is not thought to be a member.[6] It appears to be surrounded by a dusty nebule, possibly material ejected from the star itself.[7]

It is catalogued as an irregular variable star, but a number of possible pulsation periods have been detected. Analysis from observations over 40 years give variations with periods of 201 and 448 days, with other studies suggesting periods of 100 and 1,400 days.[8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 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. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Levesque, Emily M.; Massey, Philip; Olsen, K. A. G.; Plez, Bertrand; Josselin, Eric; Maeder, Andre; Meynet, Georges (2005). "The Effective Temperature Scale of Galactic Red Supergiants: Cool, but Not As Cool As We Thought". The Astrophysical Journal 628 (2): 973. arXiv:astro-ph/0504337. Bibcode 2005ApJ...628..973L. doi:10.1086/430901.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Samus, N. N.Expression error: Unrecognized word "etal". (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. Keenan, P.; McNeil, R. (October 1989). "The Perkins catalog of revised MK types for the cooler stars". Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 71: 245–266. Bibcode 1989ApJS...71..245K. doi:10.1086/191373.
  5. Mermilliod, J. C.; Mayor, M.; Udry, S. (2008). "Red giants in open clusters. XIV. Mean radial velocities for 1309 stars and 166 open clusters". Astronomy and Astrophysics 485: 303. Bibcode 2008A&A...485..303M. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:200809664.
  6. Smith, Nathan (2006). "A census of the Carina Nebula - I. Cumulative energy input from massive stars". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 367 (2): 763. arXiv:astro-ph/0601060. Bibcode 2006MNRAS.367..763S. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2006.10007.x.
  7. Forte, J. C.; Marraco, H. G. (1986). "RT Carinae; a late type supergiant within an elongated dusty nebula". Astrophysical Letters 25: 39. Bibcode 1986ApL....25...39F.
  8. Kiss, L. L.; Szabó, Gy. M.; Bedding, T. R. (2006). "Variability in red supergiant stars: Pulsations, long secondary periods and convection noise". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 372 (4): 1721. arXiv:astro-ph/0608438. Bibcode 2006MNRAS.372.1721K. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2006.10973.x.

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