Lepus the Hare is a faint constellation located under the bright constellation of Orion. RX Leporis is a variable star ideal for beginners as it’s easily found low in the south-eastern sky; below the brilliant Rigel (Beta Orionis).
RX Leporis is a semi-regular variable with a range of about magnitude 5.0 to 6.7 with a period of 80 days. Like all semi-regular stars these numbers are only guides; but this star has the advantage of always being visible in binoculars.
RX Leporis is a red giant star estimated to have a mass four times that of the Sun and a radius 200 times greater then the Sun. Like all red giants, it’s very luminous, possibly as much as 4000 times more luminous then the Sun, but it also has a very low surface temperature of about 3000K. Like all cool stars it is red in colour.
|Extreme brightness range||5.1 – 6.7|
|Period of variation||About 80 days|
|Frequency of observation||Worth checking once a week|
|Observe using||50mm binoculars will suffice for this star|
|Visibility||Best observed from December to February|