Mira - Flickering Red Giant
|What's in a Name:
|Latin for Wonderful
|Claim to Fame:
|Humans have been watching this star with interest for over 300 years. It changes its luminosity over a 332 day period by both shrinking and cooling. At its maximum it is a breathtaking deep red star and the brightest star in the constellation Cetus. But for 5 months it cannot even be seen with the unaided eye.
|Type of Star:
|Red Giant (M7 IIIe Spectral Class)
|How Far Away:
|220 light years away
|300 times the sun's diameter. Would fill the orbit of Mars.
|3-500 times the sun's luminosity
|Where to View:
|Located in constellation of Cetus the Whale (Star Map).
|When to View:
|Can only see it when the star is at its maximum brightness in its cycle. Best time to view Cetus is October through January