μ Leporis

Lepus used to be known as The Chair of the Giant and even The Throne. In fact this constellation has been a number of things besides a hare.

I suggest starting at mu Leporis as it is quickly found and the vicinity contains some interesting objects.

Put Rigel (beta Orionis) on the northern edge of your glasses and drop south one binocular field: mu Leporis is on your southern rim.

Mu Leporis is a blue subgiant (some classify it as a dwarf) slowly evolving into a giant; it's already three and a half times the Sun's radius. It's thought to be a variable as well, but just what kind is still open for discussion.

The two stars north of mu, iota and kappa Leporis, are both telescopic binaries:
      iota (Struve 655)AB: 4.5, 9.9; 337, 12.0".
      kappa (Struve 661): 4.4, 6.8; 357, 2.2".

Putting mu Leporis on the eastern edge of your glasses gives you R Leporis near the northwestern edge. This is a complex Mira-type variable that can range from a barely-visible 5.5 to a very dim 11.7, every 427 days.
     The star goes by the name Hind's Crimson for its unusually intense red, first mentioned by John Russell Hind ("a blood-drop on the background of the sky".) However, as the star brighteness, it loses much of its colour.

From this view one binocular field east will give you alpha Leporis on the extreme eastern edge.

Click on alpha Leporis for its details.

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1999-2014 by Richard Dibon-Smith.