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Tue, 14 Apr 2015 - Is R CrB starting to fade?

Recent observations suggest that R Coronae Borealis may have peaked in brightness around early March and has started to fade.

Following its record breaking minimum of recent years, R CrB became visible in binoculars again during autumn 2014. Although R CrB is usually around mag 6.0 when at maximum, this recovery slowed in early 2015, with observers reporting it to be still a magnitude or more below this level.

In recent weeks, it seems that the brightening trend has actually reversed with the latest brightness estimates being in the region of mag 7.8.

We have no way of knowing whether this is a temporary setback, or whether R CrB is going to dive back down to 15th magnitude. As ever, the only way to find out is to go out and have a look for yourself.

Currently, R CrB is still (just) within the brightness range covered by the comparison stars on this first chart.

If it fades much further however, you will need to switch to using this second chart.


Added by: Tracie Heywood