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Epoch J2000 Equinox J2000
|Right ascension||16h 35m 52.95285s|
|Declination||−28° 12′ 57.6615″|
|Apparent magnitude (V)||+2.82|
|Spectral type||B0.2 V|
|U−B color index||−1.039|
|B−V color index||−0.252|
|Radial velocity (Rv)||+2.0 km/s|
|Proper motion (μ)|| RA: −9.89 mas/yr |
Dec.: −22.83 mas/yr
|Parallax (π)||6.88 ± 0.53 mas|
|Distance||470 ± 40 ly |
(150 ± 10 pc)
|Absolute magnitude (MV)||−4.2|
|Mass||15.0 ± 0.1, 14.5–14.7 M☉|
|Luminosity||18,000, 20,400 L☉|
|Surface gravity (log g)||4.24 cgs|
|Temperature||31,440, 29,850 K|
|Metallicity [Fe/H]||−0.14 dex|
|Rotational velocity (v sin i)||24 km/s|
|Age||5.7 ± 1.0, 5 Myr|
Tau Scorpii (τ Sco, τ Scorpii) is a star in the southern zodiac constellation of Scorpius. The apparent visual magnitude of Tau Scorpii is +2.8, while parallax measurements yield a distance estimate of roughly 470 light-years (150 parsecs) from Earth.
Compared to the Sun, Tau Scorpii is a massive OB star with 15 times the Sun's mass and more than six times the radius of the Sun. It is radiating about 20,400 times the Sun's luminosity from its outer envelope at an effective temperature of 31,440 K. This gives it the blue-white hue characteristic of B-type stars. As yet there is no evidence of a companion in orbit around τ Sco. It is a magnetic star whose surface magnetic field was mapped by means of Zeeman–Doppler imaging. Tau Scorpii is rotating relatively slowly with a period of 41 days.
The spectrum of this star shows triply ionized oxygen (O IV) that is being generated by X-rays and the Auger ionization effect. Observations with the ROSAT space telescope showed it has a higher energy (harder) X-ray spectrum than is usual for B0 V stars. Over the energy range 0.8–1.2 keV, its X-ray luminosity is Lx = 1.8 × 1031 erg s−1 with a large Lx to Lbol of log Lx/Lbol = –6.53 from ASCA measurements. ROSAT measurements showed a log Lx/Lbol ≃ –5.93 for the range 0.1–2.4 keV. The hard component of the X-ray spectrum from τ Sco as studied with XMM-Newton supports the presence of in-falling clumps of plasma in τ Sco.
This star is a proper motion member of the Upper Scorpius subgroup of the Scorpius-Centaurus OB association, the nearest such co-moving association of massive stars to the Sun. The Upper Scorpius subgroup contains thousands of young stars with mean age 11 million years at average distance of 470 light years (145 parsecs) A more recent analysis of the HR diagram position for Tau Scorpii estimates its effective temperature to be 29,850 kelvins with a luminosity of 20,400 Suns, consistent with an isochronal age of 5 million years and an estimated mass of 14.5–14.7 solar masses.
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