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R Leonis

Mira Variable in Leo

Right Ascension 09 : 47 : 33.4 (h:m:s)
Declination +11 : 25 : 43 (deg:m:s)
Distance 600 (ly)
Visual brightness 4.4 .. 11.3 (mag)
Period 312.43 (days)
Spectra type M8IIIe

R Leonis is an extremely red long-period variable star, a typical Mira variable. This star varies over a period of 313 days from mag 4.4 and spectral type M6 near its maximum to mag 11.3, spectral type M8III, so that it is a factor 575 more luminous (and a bit less cool) in its maximum than in its minimum. It is about 600 lightyears away (this value - from Robert Garfinkle's "Star Hopping"-is all but certain, as sources vary), and is receding from us at 13 km/s. Therefore, its absolute magnitude varies from about Mag -1.9 to +5, and its luminosity from about 440 to 0.7 times that of our sun.

Its variability has been discovered in 1782 by J.A. Koch in Danzig; this was the fourth recognized Mira variable. It can be found about 5 degrees west of Regulus (Alpha Leonis), and slightly NE of Subra (Omicron Leonis).

Recent and forthcoming maxima: May 2000, March 2001, December 2001, November 2002, September 2003, July 2004, May 2005; January 2008, November 2008, September 2009; April 4, 2012; February 8, 2013; December 15, 2013; October 21, 2014; September 16, 2015.

  • R Leonis was Variable Star of the month April 2001 at AAVSO


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    Hartmut Frommert
    Christine Kronberg
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