Astrophysics (Index)About

proper motion

(apparent motion in relation to the position of the Sun)

Proper motion (PM) of a star is its change in position within the celestial sphere over time, corrected for the effects of Earth's orbit. Its proper motion at a given time can be given as a 2D vector located in the sky, indicated by two coordinate deltas (e.g., in arcseconds) per year, and the proper motion's (vector) magnitude can be quantified as "angle per year". These are generally somewhat consistent over time, with a no more than a very slow change over the passing years. If you measure the precise position of a star at two instances precisely one year apart, the angle in arcseconds between the two measured positions is (the magnitude of) its proper motion. Precise position measurements within the celestial sphere are relative, and the determination of proper motions uses measures of the changes in angles between the star and neighbor stars within the celestial sphere that are far more distant and show no proper motion relative to each other. A star's proper motion is an indication of its motion in relation to the Sun, but does not fully characterize that motion, which also requires knowing the distance to the star and the star's radial velocity.

Common proper motion is such motion when it is shared by two stars, evidence they are a binary star or co-members of a stellar association.

The term HPMS stands for high proper motion star. I don't know any standard criteria, but a proper motion of 0.2 arcseconds per year would be of interest, and even 0.1 arcseconds per year. The catalogs Luyten Half-second Catalog and Luyten Two-Tenths Arcsecond Catalog are classic efforts to find such stars. Such high proper motion is a sign that the star is relatively near.

Further reading:

Referenced by pages:
Astrographic Catalog (AC)
AD Leonis (AD Leo)
All-Sky Compiled Catalogue (ASCC)
astronomical catalog
epoch B1950.0
Barnard's Star
Bruce Proper Motion Survey (BPM)
celestial reference frame
CfA digital speedometer
double star
double star designation
fixed star
Frank Ross's Catalog (Ross)
H3 Survey (H3)
Herschel Double Star Catalog (H)
epoch J2000.0
Kapteyn's Star
Lacaille 9352
Luyten Half-second Catalog (LHS)
Lowell Proper Motion Survey (G)
Luyten Palomar Survey (LP)
Lépine Shara Proper Motion catalog (LSPM)
Luyten Two-Tenths Arcsecond Catalog (LTT)
Max Wolf's catalog of stars with proper motion
moving-cluster method
moving group
N30 Catalog
position angle (PA)
PPM Star Catalogue
radial velocity (RV)
rare designator prefixes
SuperCOSMOS Sky Survey (SSS)
Teegarden's Star
USNO Twin Astrograph
WISE 0855-0714 (W0855)
WISE 1534-1043