Mira Star

By : Janessa Akers

Info

Type of Star? : Red Giant Star
Type of Fusion? : Helium into Oxygen and Carbon
Percent of Stars know? : 0.4%
Distance from Earth? : 300 Light Years
Type of System? : Binary Star System

What Constellation? : Cetus

What Planets around? : Jupiter

History

  • A german astronomer named David Fabricius first documented Mira August 3, 1596. He thought it was a nova because it had faded from his view in October. Then he saw it again February 16, 1609.
  • In 1638, Johannes Holwarda determined that Mira reappearances were every 11 months. He also named the star "Mira" meaning "wonderful" and "astonishing" in Latin.

Star Life

  1. Main Sequence Star; hydrogen to helium
  2. Red Giant Star ( present ); runs out of helium and expands
  3. White Dwarf; 90% of its mass is ejected into space ( 10% left )
  4. Black Dwarf; cools and turns into ashes

Fun Fact

NASA’s Galaxy Evolution Explorer Space Telescope revealed that there was a trail of shredded material followed by Mira. This trail was 13 light years in length that was formed over tens of thousands of years. NASA thought it was a hot blow-wave of compressed plasma/gas that caused this trail but it was actually Mira that was moving at an extremely high speed ( 291,000 miles per hour ). Mira had now created stellar wind causing the material to strip from itself.
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