WZ Cephei

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WZ Cephei
WZ Cephei binary.png
Celestia 1.6.1's impression of WZ Cephei, eclipsing binary of W UMa-type.
Observation data
Epoch J2000      Equinox J2000
Constellation Cepheus
Right ascension 23h 22m 24.215s
Declination +72° 54′ 56.70″
Apparent magnitude (V) +11.22
Spectral type F5V+F5V
Variable type W Ursae Majoris-type
Distance880.2 ly
(270[1] pc)
Mass1.1/0.83 M
Radius1.4/0.82 R
Diameter1.4/0.82 D
Luminosity3/1 L
Temperature6400 K
Period (P)0.00114 yr
Semi-major axis (a)0.013 AU
Eccentricity (e)0.0
Inclination (i)86.2[2]°
Other designations
WZ Cep, 2MASS J23222421+7254566, 1RXS J232216.6+725505
Database references

WZ Cephei is an eclipsing binary star of W Ursae Majoris-type in the constellation of Cepheus, located 880 light years away from the Sun. The stars orbit around a common orbital barycenter every 0.41744 days (slightly over 10 hours). Timing analyses have revealed the possible presence of a third low-mass stellar companion in a wide orbit.[3]

Presence of a third body

According to Zhu & Qian (2009) a third low-mass object of stellar nature could be responsible of orbital period variations observed for WZ Cep with a periodicity of roughly 32 years.[3] Such a companion would yield a minimum mass of 0.17 Solar masses and be located 26.6 Astronomical Units (nearly the same orbital separation of Neptune in Solar System) from the eclipsing binary. The star could likely turn out a Proxima Centauri-analog, with inferred luminosity 3.7 percent that of Sun and 20 percent of its radius, according to mass-radius relationship.


  1. Geske; Gettel, S. J.; McKay, T. A. (2006). "A ROSAT Survey of Contact Binary Stars". The Astronomical Journal 131 (1): 633–637. arXiv:astro-ph/0509820. Bibcode 2006AJ....131..633G. doi:10.1086/498018.
  2. Djurasevic; Zakirov, M.; Hojaev, A.; Arzumanyants, G. (1998). "Analysis of the activity of the eclipsing binary WZ Cephei". Astronomy and Astrophysics Supplement 131 (1): 17–23. Bibcode 1998A&AS..131...17D. doi:10.1051/aas:1998248.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Zhu; Qian (2009). "WZ Cephei: A Close Binary at the Beginning of Contact Phase". Astronomy and Astrophysics Supplement 138 (6): 2002–2006. Bibcode 2009AJ....138.2002Z. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/138/6/2002.

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