ι Horologii

Iota Horologii isn't particularly interesting in itself, a 5.4 magnitude yellow star 56 light years away. But it's a convenient star to find the interesting R Horologii, a Mira-type variable with very wide range.

You can move southwest of alpha quite a long ways, about six binocular fields, but easier would be to locate the prominent star of the region, alpha Eridani, far to the southwest of alpha Horologii, then backtrack four binocular fields northeast: binoculars. It's a rather bleak part of the southern skies.

If you've 'done' the river Eridanus, then a much simpler way to find Horologium is to start at Achernar (alpha Eri) then move up to phi Eri and just one binocular field east of phi is iota Horologii.

R Horologii, two degrees northeast of iota, usually has a magnitude of only 14 or so, far too dim for most binoculars. However every 407 days it glows with a 4.7 or thereabouts magnitude.

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1999-2014 by Richard Dibon-Smith.