A mercury-manganese star is a type of chemically peculiar star with a prominent spectral line at 398.4 nm, due to absorption from ionized mercury.[1] These stars are of spectral type B8, B9, or A0, corresponding to surface temperatures between about 10,000 and 15,000 K, with two distinctive characteristics:

An atmospheric excess of elements like phosphorus, manganese, gallium, strontium, yttrium, zirconium, platinum and mercury.
A lack of a strong dipole magnetic field.

Their rotation is relatively slow, and as a consequence their atmosphere is relatively calm. It is thought, but has not been proven, that some types of atoms sink under the force of gravity, while others are lifted towards the exterior of the star by radiation pressure, making a heterogeneous atmosphere.[2]

The following table includes the brightest stars in this group.
Name[3] Bayer or Flamsteed designation Spectral type[3] Apparent visual magnitude[3]
Alpheratz α Andromedae B8IVmnp 2.06
Gienah Corvi γ Corvi A B8III 2.59
Maia 20 Tauri B8III 3.87
χ Lupi B9IV 3.96
Muliphein[4] γ Canis Majoris B8II 4.10
φ Herculis[5] B9mnp 4.23
π1 Bootis B9p 4.91
ι Coronae Borealis A0p 4.98
κ Cancri A B8IIImnp 5.24
14 Sagittae[5] B9p 5.89
Dabih Minor[6] β Capricorni B B9.5III/IV 6.10
HD 30963 B9 III 7.23

Mercury-manganese star. The Internet Encyclopedia of Science, David Darling. Accessed on line August 14, 2008.
Michaud, Georges (May 1970). "Diffusion Processes in Peculiar A Stars". Astrophysical Journal. 160: 641–658. Bibcode:1970ApJ...160..641M. doi:10.1086/150459.
Names, spectral types and apparent magnitudes taken from SIMBAD, except as noted.
Muliphein Archived 2008-05-17 at the Wayback Machine, Stars, Jim Kaler. Accessed on line August 14, 2008.
Adelman, S. J. (December 1988), "Elemental Abundance Analyses with Coadded DAO Spectrograms - Part Five - the Mercury-Manganese Stars Phi-Herculis 28-HERCULIS and HR:7664", Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 235 (3): 763, Bibcode:1988MNRAS.235..763A, doi:10.1093/mnras/235.3.763.

Dabih Archived 2006-08-24 at the Wayback Machine, Stars, Jim Kaler. Accessed on line August 14, 2008.



Accretion Molecular cloud Bok globule Young stellar object
Protostar Pre-main-sequence Herbig Ae/Be T Tauri FU Orionis Herbig–Haro object Hayashi track Henyey track


Main sequence Red-giant branch Horizontal branch
Red clump Asymptotic giant branch
super-AGB Blue loop Protoplanetary nebula Planetary nebula PG1159 Dredge-up OH/IR Instability strip Luminous blue variable Blue straggler Stellar population Supernova Superluminous supernova / Hypernova

Spectral classification

Early Late Main sequence
O B A F G K M Brown dwarf WR OB Subdwarf
O B Subgiant Giant
Blue Red Yellow Bright giant Supergiant
Blue Red Yellow Hypergiant
Yellow Carbon
S CN CH White dwarf Chemically peculiar
Am Ap/Bp HgMn Helium-weak Barium Extreme helium Lambda Boötis Lead Technetium Be
Shell B[e]


White dwarf
Helium planet Black dwarf Neutron
Radio-quiet Pulsar
Binary X-ray Magnetar Stellar black hole X-ray binary


Blue dwarf Green Black dwarf Exotic
Boson Electroweak Strange Preon Planck Dark Dark-energy Quark Q Black Gravastar Frozen Quasi-star Thorne–Żytkow object Iron Blitzar

Stellar nucleosynthesis

Deuterium burning Lithium burning Proton–proton chain CNO cycle Helium flash Triple-alpha process Alpha process Carbon burning Neon burning Oxygen burning Silicon burning S-process R-process Fusor Nova
Symbiotic Remnant Luminous red nova


Core Convection zone
Microturbulence Oscillations Radiation zone Atmosphere
Photosphere Starspot Chromosphere Stellar corona Stellar wind
Bubble Bipolar outflow Accretion disk Asteroseismology
Helioseismology Eddington luminosity Kelvin–Helmholtz mechanism


Designation Dynamics Effective temperature Luminosity Kinematics Magnetic field Absolute magnitude Mass Metallicity Rotation Starlight Variable Photometric system Color index Hertzsprung–Russell diagram Color–color diagram

Star systems

Contact Common envelope Eclipsing Symbiotic Multiple Cluster
Open Globular Super Planetary system


Solar System Sunlight Pole star Circumpolar Constellation Asterism Magnitude
Apparent Extinction Photographic Radial velocity Proper motion Parallax Photometric-standard


Proper names
Arabic Chinese Extremes Most massive Highest temperature Lowest temperature Largest volume Smallest volume Brightest
Historical Most luminous Nearest
Nearest bright With exoplanets Brown dwarfs White dwarfs Milky Way novae Supernovae
Candidates Remnants Planetary nebulae Timeline of stellar astronomy

Related articles

Substellar object
Brown dwarf Sub-brown dwarf Planet Galactic year Galaxy Guest Gravity Intergalactic Planet-hosting stars Tidal disruption event

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