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R Andromedae

R Andromedae

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R Andromedae is a Mira
Mira variable
Mira variables , named after the star Mira, are a class of pulsating variable stars characterized by very red colors, pulsation periods longer than 100 days, and light amplitudes greater than one magnitude in infrared and 2.5 magnitude in visual...

-type variable star
Variable star
A star is classified as variable if its apparent magnitude as seen from Earth changes over time, whether the changes are due to variations in the star's actual luminosity, or to variations in the amount of the star's light that is blocked from reaching Earth...

 in the constellation
In modern astronomy, a constellation is an internationally defined area of the celestial sphere. These areas are grouped around asterisms, patterns formed by prominent stars within apparent proximity to one another on Earth's night sky....

Andromeda (constellation)
Andromeda is a constellation in the northern sky. It is named after Andromeda, the princess in the Greek legend of Perseus who was chained to a rock to be eaten by the sea monster Cetus...

. Its spectral class is type S
S-type star
A star with spectral type S is a late-type giant star whose spectrum displays bands from zirconium oxide in addition to titanium oxide which is characteristically exhibited by K and M class giant stars...

, because it shows absorption bands of zirconium
Zirconium is a chemical element with the symbol Zr and atomic number 40. The name of zirconium is taken from the mineral zircon. Its atomic mass is 91.224. It is a lustrous, grey-white, strong transition metal that resembles titanium...

 monoxide in its spectrum. It was among the stars found by Paul Merrill to show absorption lines
Spectral line
A spectral line is a dark or bright line in an otherwise uniform and continuous spectrum, resulting from a deficiency or excess of photons in a narrow frequency range, compared with the nearby frequencies.- Types of line spectra :...

 of the unstable element technetium
Technetium is the chemical element with atomic number 43 and symbol Tc. It is the lowest atomic number element without any stable isotopes; every form of it is radioactive. Nearly all technetium is produced synthetically and only minute amounts are found in nature...

, establishing that nucleosynthesis
Nucleosynthesis is the process of creating new atomic nuclei from pre-existing nucleons . It is thought that the primordial nucleons themselves were formed from the quark–gluon plasma from the Big Bang as it cooled below two trillion degrees...

must be occurring in stars.