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Al Haram, Peregrini, Mu Velorum

A third magnitude star in the eastern parts of Vela, and originally of the larger Argo Navis, lying close to Vela's border with Centaurus. Its usual name Alherem (sometimes spelt Al Haram) comes from the Arabic for 'the sanctuary', but it was also classically associated with crew of the great ship Argo. Hence its Latin name Peregrini, 'wanderers' or 'voyagers', connecting the star with Jason and his Argonauts.

Some 117 light years from the Solar System, Alherem is a binary system. The primary star, Mu Velorum A, is in the process of transforming into a red giant. Its outer shell is expanding rapidly from its now-inert core, and the associated magnetic stresses make it an active body. Intense flare activity has been observed from the star, with some flares lasting for periods of days.

The giant's companion, Mu Velorum B, is an F-type bright yellow dwarf, pursuing a highly eccentric orbit around its tumultuous primary. As times the dwarf companion approaches the giant as closely as 8 AU, bringing the two stars closer than Saturn's distance from the Sun. At other times, the dwarf's orbit carries it more than ten times farther away, reaching a distance of some 93 AU before beginning its inward path once again.


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