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R Coronae Borealis

Due to the New England winter storm currently affecting the area, phone coverage at the AAVSO may be much reduced until Wednesday. The staff is still available via email, and we suggest using that method to contact us if you need assistance.

R Coronae Borealis stars (or R CrB stars) are highly evolved stars whose light undergoes dramatic dimming events caused by dust around the star.  In mid-2007, the class prototype entered one of these dimming events, and has yet to return to its normal brightness.  Astronomers use the light curves of R CrB and other stars like it to better understand what happens to stars near the ends of their lives.  Although R CrB is very faint in all but the largest telescopes, it is visible in binoculars when it is near maximum brightness.

R CrB remains in its extended faint state as of July 2013.  It had a short recovery to V=12.0 in mid-2011, faded to V=14.0 again within a few months, and made another recovery in 2012 before fading yet again.  No one has any idea when it will return to its bright state again.  It's a great target for visual and CCD observers alike, so please keep it under observation!

For more information visit: /vsots_rcrb
Prepared By: Matthew Templeton
AAVSO 49 Bay State Rd. Cambridge, MA 02138 617-354-0484