SS Virginis -- Carbon Star in Virgo
A Carbon Star to Start the Observing Period
I had a good thirty-minutes before the first-quarter moon slipped behind the
house which would then help darken the skies.  Not wishing to waste time, I
searched out SS Virginis, a dark-red Carbon Star. Carbon Stars are little
compromised by strong moonlight.  By the time I completed the drawing, the
moon was behind my house and quickly heading towards the horizon.  Virgo is
galaxy country and I hoped that the rest of the night would be filled with
galaxies.

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.