Hubble Space Telescope image of the cool red giant star Mira in the ultraviolet.
Click on image for star map
M. Karovska (Center for Astrophysics) and NASA
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
|How Big:|| 300 times the sun's diameter. Would fill the orbit of Mars.
|How Bright:|| 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
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