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Sun, 07 Feb 2016 - Mira on the rise

Omicron Ceti (Mira), having passed through minimum in late 2015, is now brightening towards its spring maximum.

Observations in early February by Jonathan Shanklin and Tony Markham show it to have become bright enough to be visible in commonly used binocular sizes such as 7x50 and 10x50.

Unfortunately for UK based observers, the peak brightness isn't due to be reached until early April ... and Mira will be lost in the evening twilight during the first half of March. Observers at more southerly latitudes wil be able to follow Mira for longer.

You can monitor the brightness changes in the coming weeks using this finder chart. A wider angle view of the area around Mira can be found in this SPA guide

 

Added by: Tracie Heywood