Welcome to Variable Stars South!

Variable Stars South is a community of astronomers, mainly amateur, interested in researching the rich and under-explored myriad of southern variable stars.

Find out more about VSS, and read about the research areas we are involved in.  If you’re interested in doing serious astronomy and would like to involve yourself in some rewarding scientific research, consider registering with this international group (its free!).  To stay in touch with VSS, don’t forget our VSS Google Group which provides alerts and general announcement (anybody can join the discussion).   Our Newsletters are online too.

Latest News

Variable Types

  • Pulsating Variables +

    Pulsating Variables There are two types of pulsating stars, those where the pulsations are radial and are caused by ionisation and recombination of helium and hydrogen which causes shock waves which in turn move the star’s surface in and out; and non-radial pulsations, usually induced by rotation at high speeds. We are interested mainly in the longer period, radially pulsating objects which are suited to the equipment we can use to observe them—the eye, usually with a telescope and binoculars, CCD and DSLR cameras and now some of our members are turning to spectroscopy due to the development of low cost and Read More
  • Eruptive Variables +

    Eruptive Variables Eruptive variable stars show irregular or semi-regular brightness variations caused by material being lost from the star, or in some cases being accreted to it. Despite the name these are not explosive events, those are the cataclysmic variables. VSS runs a number of projects related to eruptive systems, which are outlined below. V0745 Sco Campaign V1369 Centauri – A Southern Nova Project V442 Centauri Older archived projects can be found here: U Scorpii Campaign Read More
  • Eclipsing Binaries +

    Eclipsing Binaries Extrinsic variables have variations in their brightness, as seen by terrestrial observers, due to some external source. One of the most common reasons for this is the presence of a binary companion star, so that the two together form a binary star. When seen from certain angles, one star may eclipse the other, causing a reduction in brightness. One of the most famous eclipsing binaries is Algol, or Beta Persei (β Per). VSS runs a number of projects related to eclipsing binary systems, which are outlined below. Eclipsing Binaries – Insight into Stellar Evolution V0454 Carinae spectroscopic and photometric campaign Read More
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Techniques

  • Video Photometry +

    Video Photometry Video cameras have been traditionally used for photometry of lunar and asteroidal occultations and mutual events of planet satellites. Since recently they are also being used for identifying the times of minima of short periodic variable stars. Those cameras provide a cost effective option for variable star research as well Read More
  • DSLR Photometry +

    DSLR Photometry 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". Read More
  • Spectroscopy +

    Spectroscopy Spectroscopy is the analysis of electromagnetic radiation received from astronomical objects and is generally presented as a graph of radiation amplitude versus wavelength. Amateur spectroscopy is presently restricted to the visual range, for cost and technical reasons, but that is hardly a limitation as the interested observer will find no Read More
  • Visual Observing +

    Visual Observing 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 Read More
  • CCD Photometry +

    CCD Photometry CCD cameras have long been used in the production of "pretty pictures" - the wonderful astrophotographs that we seen in magazines, books and websites. However CCD cameras also have a long history of scientific study, and with the plethora of commercial and free photometry software, they have become the mainstay of Read More
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VSS relies on donations to fund our operations. While these costs are quite modest, your assistance will help us continue our work.