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version 4.0 - February 12th, 2001
 
Positions of the real stars
  1. Table of the real stars
  2. Table of the real DSOs
  3. Explanations on the tables
  4. Maps on the tables
  5. Three-dimensional view

 

With this exclusive collection of all real stars or deep sky objects (DSOs) mentioned in Star Trek, their coordinates and distances in a never achieved precision, thanks to the use of the most recent data from the HIPPARCOS catalogue, and their calculated two-dimensional distances and relative coordinates in the galactic plane, you are now able to draw exact maps of the Star Trek universe for the first time.

The already fourth version of the "Positions of the real stars" contains heavily extended and much more precise information on 39 stars (four additional ones compared with former versions) and on 4 deep space sky objects (in this version for the first time). Also for the first time, the given, different absolute coordinates are based on the revised distance of the sun from the Galactic center: 7.9kpc (25800 ly).

This unique data collection based on a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, which has been continuously developed since October 1999, would not have been possible without the theoretical preliminary work of Masao Okazaki, who helped me to understand what galactic coordinates are and how I can calculate map distances and directions with them, and Bernd Schneider of Ex Astris Scientia, who submitted the first HIPPARCOS figures of the most important stars to me.

 

1. Table of the real stars

Identification Celestial coordinates Distance Galactic coordinates Position relative to Earth Position in the Galaxy Cartesic position Polar position Additional information
Appearance

Name

Bayer notation

a

d

Parallax

Dist (ly)

l

b

Plane dist

XRel (ly)

YRel (ly)

ZRel (ly)

X (ly)

Y (ly)

X0 (ly)

Y0 (ly)

r (ly)

phi (°)

Arity

Spectrum / Luminosity

 
Theta Eridani-ATheta Eridani-B

Acamar

Theta Eridani

- -

20

163.091

244

-61

79.07

71.07

34.66

-142.64

50071.07

75834.66

71.07

-25834.66

25834.7588

270.1576

binary

A3, A2

Alpha Tauri-AAlpha Tauri-B

Aldebaran

Alpha Tauri*

68.98

16.51

50

65.236

181.33

-19.65

61.44

1.43

61.42

-21.94

50001.43

75861.42

1.43

-25861.42

25861.4206

270.0032

quarternär

K5III, M2V, -, -

Alpha Centauri-AAlpha Centauri-BAlpha Centauri-C

Alpha Centauri*

219.92

-60.835

742.12

4.395

315

-1.08

4.39

3.11

-3.11

-0.08

50003.11

75796.89

3.11

-25796.89

25796.8928

270.0069

trinary

G2V, K4V, M5eV

Alpha Eridani

Alpha Eridani*

24.428

-57.237

23

141.818

290

-58.95

73.15

68.74

-25.02

-121.50

50068.74

75774.98

68.74

-25774.98

25775.0737

270.1528

single

B3pV

Alpha Aquilae

Altair

Alpha Aquilae*

297.695

8.867

194.44

16.775

47.39

-9.8

16.53

-12.17

-11.19

-2.86

49987.83

75788.81

-12.17

-25788.81

25788.8116

269.9730

single

A7V

Alpha Scorpii-AAlpha Scorpii-B

Antares

Alpha Scorpii*

247.352

-26.432

5.4

604.039

352

14.47

584.88

81.40

-579.19

150.93

50081.40

75220.81

81.40

-25220.81

25220.9451

270.1849

binary

M1Ib, B4V-VI

Alpha Bootis

Arcturus

Alpha Bootis**

213.918

19.187

88.85

36.711

16

68.51

13.45

-3.71

-12.93

34.16

49996.29

75787.07

-3.71

-25787.07

25787.0724

269.9918

single

K2peIII

Gamma Orionis

Bellatrix

Gamma Orionis*

81.283

6.35

13.42

243.056

197.24

-15.36

234.37

69.46

223.84

-64.38

50069.46

76023.84

69.46

-26023.84

26023.9369

270.1529

single

B2III-V

Beta Aurigae

Beta Aurigae*

89.882

44.947

39.72

82.120

167.76

10.98

80.62

-17.09

78.78

15.64

49982.91

75878.78

-17.09

-25878.78

25878.7899

269.9622

single

A2IV

Alpha Orionis

Betelgeuse

Alpha Orionis**

88.793

7.407

7.63

427.498

200.11

-8.37

422.94

145.42

397.16

-62.23

50145.42

76197.16

145.42

-26197.16

26197.5633

270.3180

single

M2Ib

Alpha Carinae

Canopus

Alpha Carinae*

95.988

-52.696

10.43

312.734

262

-25.14

283.11

280.35

39.40

-132.86

50280.35

75839.40

280.35

-25839.40

25840.9220

270.6216

single

F0Ib

Alpha Aurigae-AAlpha Aurigae-BAlpha Aurigae-CAlpha Aurigae-D

Capella

Alpha Aurigae*

79.172

45.999

77.29

42.202

162.91

5.12

42.03

-12.35

40.18

3.77

49987.65

75840.18

-12.35

-25840.18

25840.1808

269.9726

quarternär

G5III, G0III, M2V, M4V-VI

Alpha Canum Ventaticorum

Cor Caroli

Alpha Canum Ventat.

- -

30

108.727

118

78

22.61

-19.96

10.61

106.35

49980.04

75810.61

-19.96

-25810.61

25810.6204

269.9557

single

A0

Alpha Cygni

Deneb

Alpha Cygni*

310.358

45.28

1.01

3229.516

84.61

1.87

3227.80

-3213.52

-303.20

105.39

46786.48

75496.80

-3213.52

-25496.80

25698.5110

262.8165

single

A2Ia

Epsilon Hydrae

Epsilon Hydrae

24

135.909

221

29

118.87

77.98

89.71

65.89

50077.98

75889.71

77.98

-25889.71

25889.8287

270.1726

single

G0

Epsilon Indi

Epsilon Indi*

330.823

-56.78

275.76

11.828

339

-48.57

7.83

2.80

-7.31

-8.87

50002.80

75792.69

2.80

-25792.69

25792.6931

270.0062

single

K5eV

Gamma Hydrae

Gamma Hydrae

- -

25

130.472

311

39

101.40

76.52

-66.52

82.11

50076.52

75733.48

76.52

-25733.48

25733.5919

270.1704

single

G5

Gamma Tauri

Gamma Tauri

- -

-

326.000

179

-24

297.82

-5.20

297.77

-132.60

49994.80

76097.77

-5.20

-26097.77

26097.7710

269.9886

single

K0

Gamma Trianguli

Gamma Trianguli

- -

-

91.000

143

-26

81.79

-49.22

65.32

-39.89

49950.78

75865.32

-49.22

-25865.32

25865.3674

269.8910

single

A0

Epsilon Bootis

Izar

Epsilon Bootis*

221.247

27.074

15.55

209.763

39.04

64.27

91.06

-57.36

-70.73

188.96

49942.64

75729.27

-57.36

-25729.27

25729.3336

269.8723

single

K0

Beta Ursae Majoris

Merak

Beta Ursae Majoris

165.46

56.382

41.07

79.421

148.98

55.28

45.24

-23.31

38.77

65.28

49976.69

75838.77

-23.31

-25838.77

25838.7767

269.9483

single

A1V

Delta Orionis

Mintaka

Delta Orionis*

83.002

-0.299

3.56

916.239

204.14

-17.17

875.41

358.01

798.85

-270.48

50358.01

76598.85

358.01

-26598.85

26601.2593

270.7711

single

B0

Omicron Ceti

Mira

Omicron Ceti

-

418.000

167

-57

227.66

-51.21

221.82

-350.56

49948.79

76021.82

-51.21

-26021.82

26021.8746

269.8872

single

M6eIII

Zeta Ursae Majoris-AZeta Ursae Majoris-B

Mizar

Zeta Ursae Majoris

200.981

54.925

41.73

78.165

112.37

61.75

37.00

-34.21

14.08

68.85

49965.79

75814.08

-34.21

-25814.08

25814.1032

269.9241

binary

A2, A6

Beta Geminorum

Pollux

Beta Geminorum*

116.331

28.026

96.74

33.717

192.6

24.01

30.80

6.72

30.06

13.72

50006.72

75830.06

6.72

-25830.06

25830.0590

270.0149

single

K0IIIb

Alpha Leonis-AAlpha Leonis-BAlpha Leonis-C

Regulus

Alpha Leonis*

152.094

11.967

42.09

77.496

227

49.39

50.44

36.89

34.40

58.83

50036.89

75834.40

36.89

-25834.40

25834.4282

270.0818

trinary

B7V, K1V, MV

Beta Orionis

Rigel

Beta Orionis*

78.634

-8.202

4.22

772.941

209.47

-24.69

702.28

345.50

611.41

-322.86

50345.50

76411.41

345.50

-26411.41

26413.6739

270.7495

single

B8Ia

Beta Lyrae-ABeta Lyrae-B

Sheliak

Beta Lyrae*

282.52

33.363

3.7

881.571

63.4

14.45

853.68

-763.32

-382.24

219.98

49236.68

75417.76

-763.32

-25417.76

25429.2149

268.2799

binary

B8, B2

Sigma Draconis

Sigma Draconis*

293.086

69.665

173.41

18.810

101.41

21.93

17.45

-17.10

3.45

7.02

49982.90

75803.45

-17.10

-25803.45

25803.4575

269.9620

single

K0V

Alpha Canis Majoris

Sirius

Alpha Canis Majoris*

101.289

-16.713

379.21

8.602

227

-8.44

8.51

6.22

5.80

-1.26

50006.22

75805.80

6.22

-25805.80

25805.8035

270.0138

single

A1V

Sol

Sol

keine**

-

-

-

0

0

0

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

50000.00

75800.00

0.00

-25800.00

25800.0000

270.0000

single

G2V

Alpha Virginis-AAlpha Virginis-B

Spica

Alpha Virginis**

201.298

-11.161

12.44

262.204

316

50.45

166.96

115.98

-120.10

202.18

50115.98

75679.90

115.98

-25679.90

25680.1620

270.2588

binary

B1V, B7V

Tau Ceti

Tau Ceti*

26.021

-15.94

274.17

11.897

173.9

-72.85

3.51

-0.37

3.49

-11.37

49999.63

75803.49

-0.37

-25803.49

25803.4883

269.9992

single

G8pV

Theta Cygni-ATheta Cygni-B

Theta Cygni

- -

-

60.690

87

14

58.89

-58.81

-3.08

14.68

49941.19

75796.92

-58.81

-25796.92

25796.9851

269.8694

binary

F4V, MV

Alpha Lyrae

Vega

Alpha Lyrae*

279.234

38.783

128.93

25.299

67.61

18.94

23.93

-22.13

-9.11

8.21

49977.87

75790.89

-22.13

-25790.89

25790.8946

269.9508

single

A0V

Velara

"Velara"

Plejaden, Tau**

56.75

24.7

-

415.000

166.57

-22.52

383.35

-89.04

372.87

-158.95

49910.96

76172.87

-89.04

-26172.87

26173.0229

269.8051

single

G?

40 Eridani-A40 Eridani-B40 Eridani-C

"Vulcan"

o² (40) Eridani A*

63.823

-7.645

198.24

16.454

200.97

-37.46

13.06

4.67

12.20

-10.01

50004.67

75812.20

4.67

-25812.20

25812.1961

270.0104

trinary

K1eV, DA4wd, M4eV

Wolf 359

Wolf 359

keine*

- - -

7.803

247

54

4.59

4.22

1.79

6.31

50004.22

75801.79

4.22

-25801.79

25801.7924

270.0094

single

M6eV

Zeta Eridani

Zibal

Zeta Eridani

- -

-

130.400

171

-52

80.28

-12.56

79.29

-102.76

49987.44

75879.29

-12.56

-25879.29

25879.2969

269.9722

single

A5

 

2. Table of the DSOs

Identification Celestial coordinates Distance Galactic coordinates Position relative to Earth Position in the Galaxy Cartesic position Polar position Additional information
Appearance

Name

Catalogue number

a

d

Parallax

Dist (ly)

l

b

Plane dist

XRel (ly)

YRel (ly)

ZRel (ly)

X (ly)

Y (ly)

X0 (ly)

Y0 (ly)

r (ly)

phi (°)

Classification

Diameter
 
NGC 1952

Crab nebula

M1 / NGC1952, Tau

83.625

22.1

-

3260

184.82

-5.14

3246.89

272.82

3235.41

-292.06

50272.82

79035.41

272.82

-29035.41

29036.6901

270.5383

Diffuse nebula

10 ly
NGC 7293

Helical nebula

NGC 7293, Aqr

337.4

-20.48

-

450

37.6

-57.52

241.65

-147.44

-191.46

-379.61

49852.56

75608.54

-147.44

-25608.54

25608.9658

269.6701

Planetary nebula

1.75 ly
NGC 1976

Orion nebula

M42 / NGC 1976, Ori

83.725

-5.32

-

1630

209.16

-18.88

1542.30

751.49

1346.84

-527.45

50751.49

77146.84

751.49

-27146.84

27157.2351

271.5857

Diffuse nebula

30 ly
NGC 1432

Pleiades

M45 / NGC 1432, Tau

56.75

24.7

-

415

166.57

-22.52

383.35

-89.04

372.87

-158.95

49910.96

76172.87

-89.04

-26172.87

26173.0229

269.8051

Open cluster

40 ly

 

3. Explanations on the tables

Identification (stars) - appearance (not to scale), Arabic designation and Bayer notation of the real star or star system.
Stars whose distances or galactic coordinates were altered or replaced by more precise values in this version are marked with a (°). All stars which have a (**) were newly added to the table.
Our sun ("Sol") is per definition a "real Star Trek star", too, even though this may sound paradoxical first. Fictitious Star Trek stars like Velara and Vulcan are marked by inverted commas. They were added to the list because we know their real reference star or the real reference region of space. These references are given in the second column.

Identification (DSOs) - a real mini-photo, the common designation of the real deep sky object (mostly nebulae), its catalogue number and the constellation where it can be found. "M" refers to the historical Messier catalogue, "NGC" to the also quite old, but still often-used New General Catalogue.

Distance - the parallax of the star and the derived distance from Earth in light years (Distance=1pc/parallax p; 1pc=3.26 ly). All distances are super-precise and up-to-date figures from the HIPPARCOS catalogue, except the deep sky objects and the following stars: Gamma Hydrae, Gamma Tauri, Gamma Trianguli, Velara, Zibal.  These distances taken from other sources do not include parallaxes.

Celestial coordinates - The coordinates of the object in the Earth-bound equatorial system, which is, however, independent of time and place. The figures include the right ascension RA and the declination d. Both values are given in degrees. The right ascension refers to the arc between vernal point (the intersection of equator and ecliptic) and the declination circle running through the celestial object, measured on the celestical equator. The angles are between 0° and 360°. The declination is the object's angular distance from the celestial equator. The declination, including values between -90° and +90°, is positive if the object is located north from the equator, and negative if it is situated south of the equator. The celestial coordinates, however, are only available here if they have been used for the calculation of the corresponding galactic coordinates (and therefore all positions of the real stars).

Galactic coordinates - Galactic longitude and latitude in degrees. The galactic longitude is the direction angle of the object projected on the hypothetical galactic sphere, relative to its center, Earth. The galactic longitude is based on a counter-clockwise system, i.e. l=0 puts the object right to the north of Earth and l=90° puts it right to the west of Earth etc., provided that we look at the galactic sphere/Milky Way from above. The galactic latitude b is the elevation angle. A galactic latitude of more than 0° means that the object is located above the "equator" of the galactic sphere (therefore in the same height like Earth), and a latitude of less than 0° that the is located below the equator. The galactic latitude determines decisively the apparent distance of the object relative to Earth, if we consider the galactic sphere, looked at from above, as a two-dimensional galactic plane. The bigger is the amount of the galactic latitude, the smaller will appear the distance of the object relative to Earth on the map. This is the third figure, the distance on the galactic plane, calculated by trigonometry with the real distance and the galactic latitude.

Position relative to Earth - X and Y distances of the object from Earth in light years, calculated by trigonometry with the direction angle (galactic longitude) and the plane distance, and Z distance from Earth in light years, derived from the elevation angle (galactic latitude) and the real distance. If you want to create a map of the galactic plane (top view) scaled 1 ly = 1 px, you can directly use the X and Y values (horizontal / vertical distances) as pixel distances.

Position in the Galaxy - The absolute, two-dimensional coordinates in the Milky Way, based on a Cartesian coordinate system with the upper left corner (0;0) and the lower right corner (100000;100000). In this system, Earth is located at the coordinates (50000;74000).

Cartesic position - The absolute coordinates in a different Cartesian coordinate system of the plane. The point (0;0) being located in the center of the Galaxy, the 4 quadrants of the coordinate system correspond to the 4 galactic quadrants (Alpha=III, Beta=IV, Gamma=II, Delta=I). Consequently, the system has the advantage that the galactic quadrant can be derived from the sign of the x and y coordinates: position in Alpha Quadrant - x negative, y negative; position in Beta Quadrant - x positive, y negative; position in Gamma Quadrant - x negative, y positive and position in Delta Quadrant - x positive, y positive.

Polar position - The absolute galactic position in a polar coordinate system. The point (0;0) is again located in the center of the Galaxy, but in this system, the position of the star is unambiguously determined by its distance r to the point (0;0) and its angle phi (between 0° and 360°, counter-clockwise) between the x axis and the line running through the object and the point (0;0). Consequently, the galactic quadrant in which the object is located can be easily derived from the angle phi: Delta Quadrant -  phi from 0° to 90°; Gamma Quadrant - phi from 90° to 180°; Alpha Quadrant - phi from 180° to 270° and Beta Quadrant - phi from 270° to 360°=0°.

Additional information (stars) - Further characteristics of the stars not relevant to their position in the Galaxy, which are nevertheless important for creating galactic maps: the spectrum of the star (and the accompanying stars in case it is a star system), from which the size and color can be derived, and the classification of the star as single star or member of a complex system (binary/trinary/quaternary).

Additional information (DSOs) - A classification of the deep sky object and determination of its diameter, which are not relevant to their position in the Galaxy but could be necessary for creating maps. Differentiated categories are nebulae (diffuse/planetary) and (open) clusters.

 

4. Maps on the tables

The following maps in the format 630x650 pixels (file size app. 165 KB each) were created with a program on the basis of the positions of the stars and DSOs in the Galaxy and have been subsequently heavily post-edited in order to be both graphically convincing and user-friendly. For a better overall view, the maps 1 to 4 are not named but numbered. Hence, please pay attention to the legend below.

Real Stars map 1

Real Stars map 2

Real Stars map 3

Scale 1000 ly per 100 px Scale 300 ly per 100 px Scale 100 ly per 100 px
 

Real Stars map 4

Real Stars map 5

Real Stars map 6

Scale 50 ly per 100 px Scale 20 ly je 100 px Scale 10 ly per 100 px
 
 
 
 
1 Acamar 11 Canopus 21 Merak 31 Sol
2 Aldebaran 12 Capella 22 Mintaka 32 Spica
3 Alpha Centauri 13 Cor Caroli 23 Mira 33 Tau Ceti
4 Alpha Eridani 14 Deneb 24 Mizar 34 Theta Cygni
5 Altair 15 Epsilon Hydrae 25 Pollux 35 Vega
6 Antares 16 Epsilon Indi 26 Regulus 36 Velara
7 Arcturus 17 Gamma Hydrae 27 Rigel 37 Vulcan
8 Bellatrix 18 Gamma Tauri 28 Sheliak 38 Wolf 359
9 Beta Aurigae 19 Gamma Trianguli 29 Sigma Draconis 39 Zibal
10 Betelgeuse 20 Izar 30 Sirius
 
A Crab nebula B Helical nebula C Orion nebula D Pleiades

 

5. Three-dimensional view

Beside the usual two-dimensional maps of the galactic planes, also a real 3D view of the galaxy can be created using the x , y and z distances of the stars from Earth. However, a 3D system is needed to transform the coordinates into a visual image. The following script, that was recreated for version 4 of "Positions of the real stars", uses the established 3D markup language VRML 1.0 to display all real stars of Star Trek in space. Therefore, using a VRML viewer (i.e. the Platinum plugin for Internet Explorer 5.0, shipped as "vrml2c.exe" with the installation files), you can now make a virtual trip through the Galaxy for the first time.

3D view (version 4.0)

 

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