Alpha Ceti, , also known as Menkar or Menkab, is a star in the constellation of Cetus. It is an old and dying star, long past the hydrogen and perhaps even past the helium stage of its stellar evolution. It is currently a red giant star but as it begins to burn its carbon core it will likely become highly unstable before finally shedding its outer layers and forming a planetary nebula, leaving a relatively large white dwarf remnant. 




In the original series of Star Trek, there is a similarly-named star system called Ceti Alpha. In the episode Space Seed, a planet in the system, Ceti Alpha V, was descrived as a "habitable, although a bit savage, somewhat inhospitable" planet and was chosen by Captain Kirk to resettle Khan Noonien Singh and the crew of the Botany Bay after their attempted takeover of the Enterprise in 2267. In the later movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Ceti Alpha VI exploded, shifting Ceti Alpha V's orbit and rendering the latter planet incapable of supporting complex life.



Ceti Alpha V, as depicted in Star Trek