Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri)
Aldebaran is a low-level irregular variable that fluctuates by about 0.2 magnitude. Having evolved off the main sequence, it has expanded to have a measurable angular diameter of 0.021" (the apparent size of a nickel seen 50 km away), equivalent to a linear diameter of approx. 5.3 × 107 km, or 38 times the diameter of the Sun. If put in place of the Sun, Aldebaran would extend halfway to Mercury and span 20° of our sky.
Aldebaran has a small companion, a dim M2 red dwarf orbiting at several hundred AU.
The Pioneer 10 probe is heading roughly in the direction of Aldebaran and is projected to pass the star remotely in about 2 million years.
Aldebaran in science fictionIn the Star Trek universe, Aldebaran is home to the Aldebaran colony, the Aldebaran mud leech, the Aldebaran serpent, Aldebaran whiskey, and the Aldebaran shellmouth. (Enterprise: "Anomaly"; Original series: "Where No Man Has Gone Before"; The Next Generation: "Hide and Q", "Conspiracy", "Relics"; Deep Space 9: "Prophet Motive", "Explorers", "Distant Voices"). [This information comes from the memory-alpha.org website and is reproduced here under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.]
Related entry• brightest stars
Related category• NOTABLE STARS
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