Thursday night 7th April 2022 was clear. The clouds moved into the Irish Sea. So I set up my William Optics 158mm f/7 apochromatic refractor at about 8.30pm. My finder scope is a WO 70mm f/6 apo. It is set at 11x.
For many years I have known about the variable star R Leonis. But it’s only now that I have finally observed it for the first time. Ever since I heard a fellow Irishman talk about this fascinating star at an astronomy weekend in the 2000s I have studied the star from various sources. My Celestial Handbook by Robert Burnham covers all the important details on R Leonis. Seeing I have been observing some doubles in Leo, is it not about time I observed this very famous star that is about 5˚ west of Regulus? It's positioned very close to the south of 18 and 19 Leonis. What a sheer beauty R Leo is! Its spectral class ranges from M6 to M9.5 as it varies in magnitude. Do you ever get tired at looking for M class stars and discovering they are merely orange? Well, the star R Leonis is definitely a very red star. Indeed I reckon it’s the reddest star I have ever observed! It brings great delight to see a non-orange star all magnifications even from 11x with my small apo. With my main scope at powers 40x, 112x, 140x, 167x, 225x and 280x I can safely say that R Leonis is red all the way. I will be giving it an estimated magnitude of precisely 9.0 over on www.aavso.org .
Thank you for reading my latest report.
Clear skies from Aubrey.