Garnet Star (Mu Cephei) -- Red Supergiant in Cepheus
The Garnet Star is named from its reddish color. It is claimed that it is the reddest star
visible to the unaided eye. I am not sure that is the case since the Garnet Star or Mu
Cephei is a Super Red Giant and thus competes with the likes of Betelgeuse and
Antares. Carbon Stars are a deeper red in color than Red Giants but none of these
are visible without a telescope. The Garnet Star in my 155mm refractor at 109x
magnification appears yellow-orange to me.
The Garnet Star is one of the largest and most luminous stars known in our galaxy.
Because of its mass the Garnet Star will live a short life compared to other stars. It is
currently on its last legs of nuclear life. When it finally dies it will go out as a Type II
Supernova explosion that, for a short time, might outshine all the billions of other stars
in our galaxy. No doubt it will an impressive sight from Earth. It is a good justification to
look towards the King (Cepheus) every time you are under a clear night sky.