Research Areas

Participants in the VSS community undertake research in a variety of areas.  You can learn more about these areas below.

  • 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. Southern Eclipsing Binary Project BL Tel Project QZ Carinae Older archived projects can 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
  • Pulsating Variables +

    Pulsating Variables The pulsating stars swell and shrink, affecting their brightness and spectrum. Pulsations are generally split into: radial, where the entire star expands and shrinks as a whole; and non-radial, where one part of the star expand while another part shrinks. Some scientists consider non-radial pulsations to encompass everything, with radial pulsations as a special case, but considering them as mutually exclusive is convenient since they generally vary with one type or the other. Depending on the type of pulsation and its location within the star, there is a natural or fundamental frequency which determines the period of the star. Stars Read More
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