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R Leporis and R Sculptoris

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About this observation
Observer
Damian Peach
Time of observation
06/09/2015 - 00:00
Object
R Sculptoris
Observing location
Siding Springs, Australia
Equipment
FLI
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Damian Peach has been seeing red!  He has submitted two excellent images this week, one showing the strikingly deep red coloured star, R Sculptoris and the second Hind's Crimson Star (R Leporis).  We have combined them in this image to show them both off to their full advantage.  Both are carbon stars, which are similar to red giants whose upper layers contain more carbon than oxygen; the two elements combining to form carbon monoxide, which consumes all the oxygen, leaving carbon atoms free to form other carbon compounds and giving the star a "sooty" atmosphere and a strikingly red appearance.

R Leporis was famously described by Hind as appearing as a "drop of blood." It is 1300ly away and is also a long period variable.

R Sculptoris also has a spiral of gas surrounding it caused by a close companion star (photographed by ALMA a few years ago.)

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