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Mon, 08 May 2017 - What will R CrB do next ?

It is now nearly 10 years since R Coronae Borealis was last at its "normal" magnitude of around 6.0.

During the intervening years it has spent much of its time around 14th or 15th magnitude and so beyond the visibility of the instruments of most amateurs.

There have been occasional brightenings, most notably during late 2014 and early 2015 when it briefly reached mag 7.0 ... before plummetting back down again in mid 2015.

The latest recovery started during spring 2016. By the late autumn it was visible in binoculars once more.

However, as this light curve shows, having reached around mag 7.5 by March of this year, it seems to have got "stuck" at this level.

What will it do next ? 

Will it stay at this level for some time? 

Will it soon resume its brightening again and finally return to mag 6.0 ?

Or is it about to plummet again?

The only way to find out will be to go out and have a look for yourself.

More information about R Coronae Borealis, including a finder chart and comparison stars can be found in  this guide

 

Added by: Tracie Heywood