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The Mira type variable R Trianguli is now visible in binoculars as it brightens towards its December maximum.
R Trianguli (located at RA 02h37.0m, Dec +34 16) is one of the brighter Mira type variables. It can occasionally reach magnitude 5.4 at maximum, but a peak brightness near mag 6.0 is more common. The average interval between successive maxima is 266 days - approx 8.5 months.
Not all maxima of R Trianguli are equally easy to observe. With Triangulum lying close to the ecliptic, there is a period each year when maxima cannot be observed. This spell lasts from late April to earlymid June. As this light curve shows, maxima that occur during this period, such as that of June 2015, go unobserved.
The most convenient time of the year for maxima to be observed is during the autumn and winter months with Triangulum well placed in the evening sky. The upcoming maximum of R Trianguli is one such conveniently timed maximum.
You can follow the brightness changes of R Trianguli using this finder chart, which has north at the top and is approx 3 degrees by 4 degrees.
Comparison stars are labelled with their magnitudes (decimal points omitted. Thus, for example, '69' labels a star of magnitude 6.9)
As of late October, R Tri was similar in brightness to the mag 7.7 comparison star.
More information about R Trianguli, including a wider angle chart showing its location relative to the brighter stars of Triangulum can be found here
Added by: Tracie Heywood