As a result of data collected by the Hubble Space Telescope, it is one of handful of Mira stars known to be somewhat egg-shaped, with an apparent diameter of 70 × 78 milliarcseconds. This asymmetry is thought to involve the star's extended atmosphere, but its cause is not properly understood. It may be a result of non-radial pulsations (the star not pulsating equally in all directions) or it may be an optical illusion as a result of large dark spots on the star, perhaps caused by giant convection cells. Similar indications of an oblong shape have been found in the case of Mira itself, R Cassiopeia, and W Hydrae.
Related categories NOTABLE STARS
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