The Remarkable 2016 Maximum of the Pulsating Class M Supergiant Mu Cephei
Class M supergiant variables are relatively unstudied, although most pulsate like Cepheids and obey a precise period-luminosity relation. As predicted predecessors of core collapse supernovae, they might display portents of future explosions in their light signatures, two easily-viewed examples being Betelgeuse and Mu Cephei, multi-mode pulsators with Mu Cep being more luminous. Its 2016 rise to maximum light was curiously late and exceptionally bright, with possible ringing near maximum.
David Turner was inspired towards a lifelong interest and career in astronomy by a visit to the David Dunlap Observatory at age seven, and a grade eight teacher’s assignment on Polaris. A long-time member of RASC and AAVSO, his expertise lies in studies of star clusters, interstellar extinction, and Cepheids, with a newfound interest in M supergiant pulsators.