A type of red giant or supergiant pulsating variable; abbr. M. Mira stars have highly characteristic late-type spectra (Me, Ce, or Se) with molecular bands, and there is extensive mass loss. Their light-curves may be approximately sinusoidal, but most show a steep rise to maximum and slower decline; amplitudes range from 2.5 to as much as 11 magnitudes, with periods from 80 to 1000 days. Because of their relatively high luminosities, large amplitudes, and well-defined features, Mira stars are readily detectable. More of them are known than any other type of variable star.
Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.