R Aquarii

Burnham calls R Aquarii "an interesting and peculiar variable star." Not your typical long-range variable star, R Aquarii is of the more rare 'symbiotic star' class. Symbiotic variables are two stars in the same gravitational field, a red giant and a white dwarf (or sometimes a main-sequence star). As such, the magnitude of the brighter red star fluctuates erratically. R Aqr might remain very faint, about 12 magnitude, for long periods of time, then burst into view with naked eye visibility. It generally has a period of 386 days. The expected maximua for R Aquarii are: late April 2015, then mid May 2016 and early June 2017.

As the star is so variable, one should inspect the area at least a month before the expected maximum.

The star is very near the southeast corner of the constellation. From 94 Aquarii move east one field of view: binoculars

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are 1999-2014 by Richard Dibon-Smith.