Research Areas

The nature of variable stars is, well, variable!  Individual stars can be subject to multiple modes of variability, and multiple systems such as eclipsing binaries can contain stars of differing natures and variability.  Participants in the VSS community undertake research into targets 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. Eclipsing Binaries – Insight into Stellar Evolution V0454 Carinae spectroscopic and photometric campaign Read More
  • 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
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