The Newly Active R Coronae Borealis Star, V2552 Ophiuchi

E. Hesselbach, Maria Mitchell Observatory
Geoffrey C. Clayton, Maria Mitchell Observatory
Paul S. Smith, The University of Arizona


In 2001, V2552 Oph (CD -22°12017, Had V98) quickly faded by several magnitudes in a manner typical of the R Coronae Borealis (RCB) stars. Photometry of V2552 Oph obtained over 70 years previous to 2001 shows no indication of variability. Optical spectra of this star subsequently confirmed that V2552 Oph is a member of the hydrogen-deficient, carbon-rich RCB class of variables. It resembles the warm (Teff ∼ 7000 K) RCB stars such as R Coronae Borealis itself. Other RCB stars, such as XX Cam and Y Mus, have experienced similar periods of inactivity, going decades without significant dust formation. Further observations of V2552 Oph will be of great interest since there is an opportunity to monitor an RCB star that may be moving from prolonged inactivity into an active phase of dust production.