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Mira Variables

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L. A. Willson

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.


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