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119 Tauri--the second reddest of all naked eye stars.

I had the pleasure of observing this star in the early hours for the past couple of nights and was reminded yet again of just how ruby red it looks in my 8-30 binoculars. Largely of historical interest now, but it may come as something of a surprise to many readers that back in the spring of 2004, I analytically ranked this star as the second reddest, in terms of B--V colour index, to shine consistently above the fifth magnitude. In my online article 'Realm of the Majestic Ruby Star in Taurus' (which I derived from my Red Star Catalogue, compiled back in the 1980s), I remarked that 119 Tauri was only superseded in the degree of its reddish colour intensity by Mu Cephei (the Garnet Star) and that no one had prior to that time actively recorded the star in any red star listings anywhere, nor acknowledged it for its redness by drawing any comparisons to other red stars in the sky. Since then, my 'discovery' of this fact has remained intact and no colour index data in any newer catalogues compiled since that time have caused a re-ranking of this star. Thus, 119 Tauri remains firmly in second place in the league of all known red supergiants (which excludes carbon stars) and some have even started to refer to this star as the Ruby Star after my lead.

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I strongly advise all stellar enthusiasts to view this gem in the coming season and see if they agree with its apparent redness matching its +2.07 B--V colour index value, by comparing it to Betelgeuse (of lesser B--V of +1.85) and the Garnet Star (of greater B--V of +2.35).

Abdul Ahad 100 Selbourne Road, Luton, Beds. LU4 8LR [aa_spaceagent@yahoo.co.uk]

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Author:Ahad, Abdul
Publication:Journal of the British Astronomical Association
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 1, 2009
Words:298
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