A → red giant → variable star in the constellation → Cetus, called also Omicron (ο) Ceti. Its → visual magnitude varies between 2.0 and 10.1 over a period of about 330 days, and its → spectral type between M5 and M9. Its diameter is 400-500 times that of the Sun, and it lies approximately 420 → light-years away. Mira is a → binary star, consisting of the red giant Mira A along with Mira B. It is the prototype of a class known as → long-period variables, or → Mira variables.
From L. mira "wonderful," as named by J. Hevelius (1611-1687).
Fr.: variables de type Mira
An optical phenomenon caused by refraction of light in the lowest layers of the Earth's atmosphere especially in the desert, over a hot pavement, or at sea. Due to temperature variations, the air density varies, leading to a spatial variation of the → index of refraction of air. As a result, light from a single point takes more than one path to the observer and the image of some distant object appears displaced from its true position; the image may appear distorted, inverted, or wavering.
From Fr. mirage, from (se) mir(er) "to look at (oneself), be reflected" (from L. mirare "to wonder at, admire") + suffix -age.
The eleventh of Uranus's known satellites and the innermost of Uranus' large moons. Its is about 470 km in diameter and orbits Uranus at about 130,000 km from its planet. It was discovered by Kuiper in 1948.
Miranda is a daughter of the magician Prospero in Shakespeare's The Tempest.