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Dare to stare at the "evil eye"

November 2012: One of the sky's scariest stars puts on a disappearing-reappearing act.
stephen_james_o_meara_new
This month, I’d like you to find the celestial ghoul’s head and watch for its “evil eye” to wink. I’m referring to Algol (Beta [β] Persei), the most enchanting naked-eye variable star in the night sky. To follow its changes, you need nothing more than your unaided eyes. But despite the star’s visibility, catching it at minimum light can be tricky, unless you know when to search it out. First, though, let’s look at a bit of interesting history.

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