Astronomy Program, Physics
Department, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011
The current status of
research on Mira variables is informally reviewed. Observable properties of
Miras -- light curves, spectra, luminosities -- are related to our current
understanding of their internal structure and evolutionary status. The
importance of the mass loss caused by the Mira pulsation in producing white
dwarfs is stressed. Although our understanding of the causes and consequences
of Mira variability have advanced enormously during the last 25 years, there is
still some very puzzling phenomena among the Miras and related variables.
Continued observations are needed to solve these puzzles and to verify the
effects of the mass loss on the stellar structure.