The Red Star is a mysterious heavenly body which appeared at the culmination of the Week of Nightmares on July 15, 1999. Known as Wormwood to vampires, Anthelios (the anti-sun) to werewolves, Telos or Mirzaba to mages, the Eye of the Demon Emperor to all Shen, the Eye of Apophis among the Reborn, and the Eye of Balor to changelings, the Red Star was seen by most supernaturals as being a sign of the End Times.
Dr. Bernhardt Mueller of the Sons of Ether predicted the coming of the Red Star, which he called Mirzaba, in the mid-1990s. He described it as a "hyperdimensional comet" and noted that in late 2012 it would be close enough to Earth to pose a collision risk. At the time he was laughed out of the scientific establishment. After the Red Star became visible, a vindicated Mueller and Stanislaus Wojciehowicz note that its previous passes coincided with the demise of scientifically advanced civilizations.
The Red Star was initially unable to be seen by mundane forms of perception. It could be seen only by supernatural creatures, but was readily apparent to oracles or people with Auspex. It could be seen in the Umbra, the Dreaming, and the Shadowlands.
As the end times neared, it brightened enough to be viewed by everyone. NASA declared the Red Star stellar object 2001KX76, theorizing it was a reddish-coloured comet heading for Earth. By the rules of NASA's provisional designations, this would mean it was the 1,923rd object discovered in the second half of May, 2001, suggesting this is roughly when it became visible to mortals.
There was, at the time, an actual stellar object with the provisional designation of 2001 KX76, which is a trans-Neptunian Kuiper Belt object. It is, in fact, reddish in colour, although far too small and distant to be seen with the naked eye. Coincidentally, it has since been named 28978 Ixion, after Ixion, the Greek equivalent of Caine. Ixion (in the form of the Ixoi and the Knife of Ixion) is relevant to the main scenario in Ascension.