R Virginis

R Virginis is a long-period variable with an abnormally short period, only 145.6 days. The star has a low of between 11 and 12 visual magnitude and maximum usually of around 7.0 although it has been known to achieve a 6.2 visual magnitude.

At omicron Virginis you'll see two stars at the opposite edge: binoculars. Move these two stars across your field of vision and R Virginis is centred: binoculars. Burnham (p. 2071) has a finder's chart. The next maximum should occur in the first week of August 1999.

M49, in the same field of vision, is quite difficult even in small telescopes and utterly impossible with binoculars.

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1999-2014 by Richard Dibon-Smith.