Alnitak is a main star in the constellation Orion and makes up the constellation outline. Since it is a high mass Alnitak is the 33rd brightest star in the night sky and the 5th brightest star in Orion based on the Hipparcos 2007 apparent magnitude.

Age & Stage of Evolution Temperature Alnitak is estimated to be 6 million years old and is already beginning to die. One is a 09.7 class supergiant with a 28 times solar mass and the other is a blue dwarf rated as a spectral OV class; this dwarf was only discovered in 1998 and completes a rotation around the first in just over 1,500 years. Some estimates put Alnitak Ab at 23 solar masses. The Zeta Orionis stars belong to the Orion OB1 association (subgroup OB1b) and are members of the Collinder 70 open cluster. It orbits Alnitak A every 1,508.6 years. The primary star Alnitak Aa, is the biggest of this system, having around 33 solar masses and a radius of around 20 times that of the Sun. Alnitak B is a 4th-magnitude B-type star which orbits Alnitak A every 1,500 years.

Based on the spectral type (O9.5Ib SB) of the star, the star's colour is blue - white.

… The Alnitak star system is located at around 1.260 light-years / 387 parsecs from the Sun.

Unlike Alnitak Ab, which can only be detected spectroscopically and interferometrically, Alnitak B can be resolved. Alnitak Ab, the secondary star, is the second-biggest star of the system with 14 solar masses and a radius of around 7.3 times that of the Sun. Alnitak is a triple star system at the eastern end of Orion's belt, the second magnitude primary having a 4th magnitude companion nearly 3 arc-seconds distant, in an orbit taking over 1,500 years.

Alnitak B is a class B giant star with a visual magnitude of 4.01.

Alnitak B is the smallest star with an estimated mass below or also around 14 solar masses.

The star Alnitak is the primary component of a binary system at the eastern extremity of Orion’s Belt. Size Location on HR Diagram It's estimated that Alnitak is 33 times the size of the Sun, and the diameter is 20 times that of the Sun. It also has a close binary star composed of two blueish 4th magnitude stars. Such brilliance can only come from a star of great mass, Alnitak's estimated to be about 20 times solar (its dimmer companion's about 14 times solar). Alnitak (ζ Orionis) is a triple star system at the eastern end of Orion's belt and is 1,260 light-years from the Earth.

Physical Properties.

Alnitak is a multi-star system with its main component, Alnitak A, being a hot blue supergiant. In addition, Alnitak has stellar winds that can reach speeds of 2,000 kilometers/second (1,240 miles/second) which cause… Alnitak Ab: • Star Type: B1IV • Mass: 14 sol • Radius: 7.3 sol • Apparent Magnitude: +4.28 • Luminosity: 32,000 sol • Surface Temperature: 29,000K • Age: 7.2 million years.

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