R Scuti is a popular target for variable star observers and has been for well over a century (its observational record dates to the late 18th century). R Scuti is an RV Tauri star, which are highly evolved pulsating giant stars having periods from tens of days to 100 days or more. The RV Tauri stars are irregular, in that their light curves do not repeat from cycle to cycle, but they still have a reasonably well defined "period". R Scuti is no exception, having a period around 146 days, but each cycle can differ significantly from the the ones preceding and following them. If you look at R Scuti over many years, you can see the light curve vary wildly, sometimes showing deep minima, other times varying by only a magnitude or so. R Scuti is a nice target for binocular observers, and varies between 5th and 9th magnitude.
Prepared By: Matthew Templeton