Fr.: bêta Céphée
The second brightest star in the constellation → Cepheus and the prototype of → Beta Cephei variables. It is a variable B2 type → giant star with a visual magnitude of 3.23 varying with a period of 4.57 hours. Its mass is a dozen times that of the Sun. Beta Cephei is a → triple system lying at a distance of about 600 → light-years. The inner → spectroscopic companion, → spectral type A, is only about 45 AU away, and takes around 90 years to orbit. The third visual companion is at least 2400 AU away, with an orbital period of at least 30,000 years.
Beta (β), the second letter of the Gk. alphabet; → Cepheus.
Beta Cephei variable
vartande-ye betâ Kefeusi
Fr.: variables bêta Céphée
A variable star, of early B or late O types, undergoing radial pulsations with short periods (< 1 day). Beta Cephei stars are confined within a narrow band of the → H-R diagram above the upper → main sequence. They are believed to be near the end of core hydrogen-burning stars of approximately 10 to 20 solar masses. The famous bright stars → Spica and → Mirzam belong to this family.