Hind's Crimson Star
March 24, 2013
Photographer: Greg Parker
Summary Authors: Greg Parker; Jim Foster
The image above features Hind's Crimson Star, a well-known carbon star in the constellation of Lepus. Carbon stars have stellar atmospheres that contain more carbon than oxygen. Hind's star is too dim to see with the unaided eye except from very dark locations. It lies southwest of Rigel, the bright white star that represents Orion's left knee. From my location in southern England, Hind's star is pretty low in the sky. In fact, in order to view it from my observatory, I have to wait for it to move into the gap between two sets of trees on my southern horizon.
Hind's Crimson Star is a variable type star. It fluctuates in brightness between an apparent magnitude of about +5.5 to +11.7 -- with a period on the order of 418–441 days. Note the blue stars in close proximity to the red carbon star. Oddly, there always seems to be at least one bright blue star near a carbon star. Image taken on January 20, 2013 and processed by Noel Carboni in Florida.
Image details: This image comprises 18 sub-exposures at 4-minutes per sub on three cameras -- 216 minutes total imaging time.