NQ Geminorum -- Carbon Star in Gemini
NQ Geminorum Near Maximum
The Carbon Star NQ Geminorum is a variable (most if not all Carbon Stars are). Tonight, it
was near its maximum brightness and its dark-red color made it noticeable in the eyepiece,
a fine-looking star.
Carbon Stars are unique in that their atmospheres contain more carbon than oxygen – not so
in other stars. The carbon combines with the oxygen, forming carbon monoxide, which
consumes all the available oxygen in the star’s upper atmosphere. The leftover carbon atoms
bond with other elements causing the star to shine ruby-red in color. No stars are darker-red
than Carbon Stars.