Aldhibah Zeta Draconis

Stellar classification



  • X -268
  • Y 189
  • Z -28
→ Sol: 329

Object type

  • Double or multiple star
  • Star
  • Infra-Red source
  • UV-emission source
simbad:* zet Dra


Zeta Draconis (ζ Dra, ζ Draconis) is the Bayer designation for a star in the northern circumpolar constellation of Draco. It shares the Arabic name Al dhi'bah ('the hyenas') with several other stars in the constellation, and shares the name Al dhibain with Eta Draconis. It is known as Nodus III (Third Knot, the knot being a loop in the tail of Draco). With an apparent visual magnitude of +3.17, it is the fifth-brightest member of this generally faint constellation. The distance to Zeta Draconis has been measured using the parallax technique, yielding an estimate of roughly 330 light-years (100 parsecs) away.

Zeta Draconis is mentioned in Hindu mythology as Tara who was a celestial goddess married to Lord Brihaspati. A divine epic was played out in the night sky when Lord Chandra, the moon, lusted after and abducted Tara, the blue pole star of Brihaspati, the planet Jupiter. By the completion of the epic Tara gives birth to Lord Budha, or Mercury.

In Chinese, 紫微左垣 (Zǐ Wēi Zuǒ Yuán), meaning Left Wall of Purple Forbidden Enclosure, refers to an asterism consisting of ζ Draconis, ι Draconis, η Draconis, θ Draconis, υ Draconis, 73 Draconis, γ Cephei and 23 Cassiopeiae. Consequently, ζ Draconis itself is known as 紫微左垣四 (Zǐ Wēi Zuǒ Yuán sì, English: the Fourth Star of Left Wall of Purple Forbidden Enclosure.), representing 上弼 (Shǎngbì), meaning The First Minister. 上弼 (Shǎngbì) is westernized into Shang Pih by R.H. Allen with meaning "the Higher Minister".

Zeta Draconis is a giant star with a stellar classification of B6 III. Compared to the Sun, this star is about 2.5 times larger, 3.5 times more massive, and is radiating 148 times as much luminosity. This energy is being emitted from the star's outer envelope at an effective temperature of nearly 13,400 K. The azimuthal rotation velocity along the equator is at least 55 km/s.

The north ecliptic pole is located at right ascension 18h and declination +66.5°. This is located roughly midway between Delta Draconis and Zeta Draconis. The north ecliptic pole almost coincides with the south celestial pole of Venus; Zeta Draconis is also the north pole star of Jupiter.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Zeta Draconis", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.