ε Boötis


Epsilon Boötis is a very fine double with contrasting colours (Struve 1877), a yellow-orange primary and blue-green companion.

Epsilon is northeast of Arcturus eight degrees, or just north of xi Boötis about six degrees; easiest is to find it with the naked eye.

It was the intrepid binary chaser himself, Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve, who call the star 'Pulcherrima'—most beautiful. A second companion is much fainter, and very wide:
      AB: 2.6, 4.8; 343º, 2.9"
      AC: 2.6, 12.6; 255º, 175.5"

Just west of epsilon half a binocular field is the variable star R Boötis. This long-period variable has a range of a very dim 10.9 to 6.8, every 223.4 days; 24 March 2013 and 1 November 2013 were the last reported maxima. (Note: while this information is now out of date, it is stated here to give the observer the means to calculate future maxima.)

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