Current R Car maximum less than usual

The past 10  (and a half) cycles of the Mira variable star R Car are shown below:

RCar

Visual estimates are shown along with observations in the V and B photometric bands. My visual observations are in purple on either side of the current cycle (clicking on the image to enlarge it helps with that). As others have commented (e.g. on the VSS mailing list), this year’s maximum stopped well short of its usual 4.5 (or brighter on some occasions). It will be interesting to watch subsequent cycles both in terms of magnitude and perhaps period.

Also of note, as with many other variables in the past few years, is the rise of photometric observations (e.g. via CCD, DSLR) where visual observations were only seen before. Given the change in R Car’s behaviour, more data can only be a Good Thing.

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