Iota Carinae

For i Carinae, see HD 79447.
ι Carinae

Location of ι Carinae (circled)

Observation data
Epoch J2000      Equinox J2000
Constellation Carina
Right ascension 09h 17m 05.40686s[1]
Declination −59° 16 30.8353[1]
Apparent magnitude (V) 2.21[2]
Spectral type A9 Ib[3]
U−B color index +0.16[4]
B−V color index +0.18[4]
Variable type Suspected[5]
Radial velocity (Rv)13.3[2] km/s
Proper motion (μ) RA: –19.03[1] mas/yr
Dec.: +13.11[1] mas/yr
Parallax (π)4.71 ± 0.46[1] mas
Distance690 ± 70 ly
(210 ± 20 pc)
Absolute magnitude (MV)–5.1[6]
Mass7.4[7] M
Luminosity4,900[7] L
Surface gravity (log g)2.40[7] cgs
Temperature7,500[7] K
Metallicity [Fe/H]–0.14[7] dex
Rotational velocity (v sin i)10.0[7] km/s
Age37.4 ± 5.1[8] Myr
Other designations
iota Car, HR 3699, HD 80404, SAO 236808, FK5 351, CD−58°2529, CPD−58°1465, NSV 04444, HIP 45556.[9]
Database references

Iota Carinae (ι Carinae, abbreviated Iota Car, ι Car), also named Aspidiske,[10] is a star in the southern circumpolar constellation (circumpolar if viewed at any location from approximately 40° S to the South Pole) of Carina. With an apparent visual magnitude of 2.2,[2] it is one of the brighter stars in the night sky. It can be seen from the latitude of Alexandria or Mobile, Alabama and southward.[11]

The False Cross is an asterism formed from Iota Carinae, Delta Velorum, Kappa Velorum and Epsilon Carinae. It is so called because it is sometimes mistaken for the Southern Cross, causing errors in astronavigation.[12]


ι Carinae (Latinised to Iota Carinae) is the star's Bayer designation.

It bore the traditional names Aspidiske (not be confused with Asmidiske, the proper name of Xi Puppis), Scutulum and Turais (or Tureis, a name shared with Rho Puppis). Turais is from the Arabic تُرَيْس turais "shield" (diminutive), while Aspidiske and Scutulum are the Greek and Latin translations, the diminutives of ασπίδα and scūtum "shield".[11] In 2016, the International Astronomical Union organized a Working Group on Star Names (WGSN)[13] to catalog and standardize proper names for stars. The WGSN's first bulletin of July 2016[14] included a table of the first two batches of names approved by the WGSN; which included Aspidiske for this star.

In Chinese, 海石 (Hǎi Dàn), meaning Sea Rock, refers to an asterism consisting of Iota Carinae, Epsilon Carinae, HD 83183, HD 84810 and Upsilon Carinae.[15] Consequently, Iota Carinae itself is known as 海石二 (Hǎi Dàn èr, English: the Second Star of Sea Rock).[16]


Based on parallax measurements, this star is located at a distance of about 690 light-years (210 parsecs) from the Earth. It has a stellar classification of A9 Ib,[3] with the luminosity class of 'Ib' indicating it has reached the stage of its evolution where it has expanded to become a lower luminosity supergiant star.

Iota Carinae has more than seven times the Sun's mass[7] and has expanded to roughly 43 times the Sun's radius.[17] It is radiating about 4,900 times the luminosity of the Sun.[7] However, this luminosity appears to vary, causing the star's apparent magnitude to range between 2.23–2.28.[5] This energy is being radiated into space from the star's outer envelope at an effective temperature of 7,500 K,[7] giving Iota Carinae the white hue typical of an A-type star.[18]

Due to precession of the Earth's axis of rotation, in the next 7500 years the south Celestial pole will pass close to this star and Upsilon Carinae and Iota Carinae will be the South Star around 8100 CE.[19]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 van Leeuwen, F. (November 2007), "Validation of the new Hipparcos reduction", Astronomy and Astrophysics, 474 (2): 653–664, arXiv:0708.1752Freely accessible, Bibcode:2007A&A...474..653V, doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20078357
  2. 1 2 3 Wielen, R.; et al. (1999), "Sixth Catalogue of Fundamental Stars (FK6). Part I. Basic fundamental stars with direct solutions", Veröff. Astron. Rechen-Inst. Heidelb, Astronomisches Rechen-Institut Heidelberg, 35 (35), Bibcode:1999VeARI..35....1W
  3. 1 2 Houk, Nancy (1978), "Michigan catalogue of two-dimensional spectral types for the HD stars", University of Michigan Catalogue of two-dimensional spectral types for the HD stars. Volume I. Declinations -90_ to -53_ƒ0, Ann Arbor: Dept. of Astronomy, University of Michigan, 1,
  4. 1 2 Johnson, H. L.; et al. (1966). "UBVRIJKL photometry of the bright stars". Communications of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. 4 (99): 99. Bibcode:1966CoLPL...4...99J.
  5. 1 2 Ruban, E. V.; et al. (September 2006), "Spectrophotometric observations of variable stars", Astronomy Letters, 32 (9): 604–607, Bibcode:2006AstL...32..604R, doi:10.1134/S1063773706090052
  6. Tanrıverdi, T.; Baştürk, Ö. (2016). "Abundance analysis of the supergiant stars HD 80057 and HD 80404 based on their UVES Spectra". New Astronomy. 47: 46. arXiv:1512.03762Freely accessible. Bibcode:2016NewA...47...46T. doi:10.1016/j.newast.2016.02.006.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Smiljanic, R.; et al. (April 2006), "CNO in evolved intermediate mass stars", Astronomy and Astrophysics, 449 (2): 655–671, arXiv:astro-ph/0511329Freely accessible, Bibcode:2006A&A...449..655S, doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20054377
  8. Tetzlaff, N.; Neuhäuser, R.; Hohle, M. M. (January 2011), "A catalogue of young runaway Hipparcos stars within 3 kpc from the Sun", Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 410 (1): 190–200, arXiv:1007.4883Freely accessible, Bibcode:2011MNRAS.410..190T, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.17434.x
  9. "iot Car -- Variable Star", SIMBAD, Centre de Données astronomiques de Strasbourg, retrieved 2012-01-14
  10. "IAU Catalog of Star Names". Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  11. 1 2 Allen, Richard Hinckley (1899), "Star-names and their meanings", New York, G. E. Stechert: 74,
  12. Moore, Patrick (2010). Patrick Moore's Astronomy: Teach Yourself. Hachette. ISBN 1444129775.
  13. "IAU Working Group on Star Names (WGSN)". Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  14. "Bulletin of the IAU Working Group on Star Names, No. 1" (PDF). Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  15. (Chinese) 中國星座神話, written by 陳久金. Published by 台灣書房出版有限公司, 2005, ISBN 978-986-7332-25-7.
  16. (Chinese) 香港太空館 - 研究資源 - 亮星中英對照表, Hong Kong Space Museum. Accessed on line November 23, 2010.
  17. Kaler, James B., "ASPIDISKE (Iota Carinae)", Stars, University of Illinois, retrieved 2012-01-14
  18. "The Colour of Stars", Australia Telescope, Outreach and Education, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, December 21, 2004, retrieved 2012-01-16
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