John French's Photo Of Mira February 2007
It was very cold when I took this photo, about 12°F. The exposure is 24 seconds. My hand shook a bit while holding down the button! The time was about 7:15 p.m. February 14, 2007. Location, Dimondale, Michigan.
Mira is a long period variable star. Also known as Omicron Ceti, Mira varies in brightness from about 9th to 2nd magnitude. Its period is about 11 months. Mira is now close to its peak brightness. This cycle appears to be brighter than average. For more information about Omicron Ceti and its current magnitude, visit the web site of the AAVSO at http://aavso.org. Once there, enter "omi cet" in their 'Pick a star' to see light curves and finder charts.
Here's the same photos as above, just stretched a bit different. You can easily pick out 6th magnitude stars. Look for them on the AAVSO chart below. (Note: The decimal points are not on the chart. Add a "point" between all the digits next to the stars to read their magnitudes.)
I also took this photo of Orion the Hunter the same night.