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R Corona Borealis stars

Clayton's review on RCB stars: [1]

Example of RCrB star in the LMC as seen by OGLE-II

Only around 50 known in the Galaxy and Magellanic Clouds. They are rare type of evolved carbon-rich and hydrogen-deficient evolved F and G supergiants that are thought to result from the merger of two white dwarfs, called the Double Degenerate (DD) scenario. This scenario is also studied in context of SN Ia explosions, therefore better understanding of RCrB stars is crucial. Tisserand et al. 2009.


  • sudden and non-periodic drops in magnitude
  • drops by up to 9 magnitudes
  • some small variation in the baseline
  • the "dark" stage can last from days to years
  • recovers slowly to the baseline
  • fading rate: 0.04 mag/day
  • absolute magnitude range: M_V=-5.2 to -3.4 mag
  • 0 < V-I < 2
  • near-infrared excess: between 0 and 3 in J-H and H-K


DY Persei

Example OGLE light curve of DY Per-type candidate

These are another Carbon stars. Their drops in magnitude are much smaller than in RCrBs and seem to be periodical (P~1000d).

  • their distributions match those of typical carbon stars (type N)
  • fading rate: 0.01 mag/day
  • absolute magnitude range: M_V=-3 to -1.8 mag
  • V-I > 1.5