|Strongly colored stars have always fascinated astronomers. The long history of red-star observations begins in the early 19th century, with famous observers such as Angelo Secchi and Thomas Espin. And those who think that stars are not highly colored need only look at Mu Cephei. Often called "Herschel's Garnet Star" (honoring both this cool, red star and William Herschel, who discovered infrared radiation), the color of this 4th-magnitude star, easily found in the constellation Cepheus, will leave you dazzled. Classed as an M2 Ia supergiant, the "Ia" implying the brightest kind, Mu Cephei is among the most luminous and largest stars in the Galaxy. The Garnet Star is seen to radiate 350,000||
emission nebula IC 1396 is Mu Cephei, one of the
most luminous and largest stars in the Galaxy!
Matt BenDaniel [larger image]