Find out about VSS, and read about the research Projects our members are involved in. Our Newsletters are online too. If you're interested in doing serious astronomy and would like to involve yourself in some rewarding scientific research, consider joining this international group. To stay in touch with VSS, don't forget our online forums:
Many variable star observers start their journey by visually observing variables that can be viewed through binoculars or small telescopes. There is a long history of serious research done in this manner, and it requires no further equipment such as cameras, filters and computers. In this regard it is ideal for beginners; yet it is also the true passion of many variable star observers around the world.
Note that like the DSLR area, this area of research within VSS is based around the technique of observing, rather than purely the nature of the objects being studied. Some of the projects below therefore overlap with the research areas that focus purely on specific types of variable stars.Read More
The emergence of Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras as cost effective astronomical imaging platforms has been underway for some years now. However it has become clear that these cameras can be used for scientific work such as photometry in addition to their more traditional role in taking "pretty pictures". Members of VSS are actively involved in exploring their use in this away and have identified key araes of research in which they are more suitable than traditional CCD cameras.
Note that like Visual Observing, this area of research within VSS is based around the technique of observing, rather than purely the nature of the objects being studied. Some of the projects below therefore overlap with the research areas that focus purely on specific types of variable stars.Read More
The area of intrinsic variable stars is fascinating, as there are real physical changes in the star that cause the changes in luminosity. The nature of these changes is varied and defines the nature of the various sub-classifications. A number of projects have been identified to study specific classes of intrinsic variables, and you can read more about them below.Read More
Eclipsing Binary systems cannot be resolved by an optical telescope (unlike visual binaries), but can be detected by regular fluctuations in the light output of the system. This happens because the orbital plane of the system is edge on (or nearly) when viewed from earth and the stars in the system continually eclipse each other (pass in front of each other), resulting in the variable light output.
Where sufficient information has been captured about these systems, it is possible to determine key astrophysical parameters for the systems, including mass and radius.Read More