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A variable star is a star whose brightness as seen from Earth (its apparent magnitude) fluctuates. [1]

138 relations: Acoustics, Algol, Amateur astronomy, American Association of Variable Star Observers, Amplitude, Apparent magnitude, Aristotle, Arthur Eddington, Asteroseismology, Astronomical naming conventions, Bayer designation, Beta Canis Majoris, Beta Cephei, Beta Lyrae, Betelgeuse, Binary star, Binary system, BY Draconis variable, Carbon, Carina Nebula, Chandrasekhar limit, Chi Cygni, China, Chromosphere, Constellation, Contact binary, Convection, Crab Nebula, Crab Pulsar, Cygnus (constellation), David Fabricius, Degenerate matter, Delta Cephei, Deneb, Doppler effect, Double star, Dwarf nova, Dwarf star, DY Persei variable, Earth, Eclipse, Edward Pigott, Edwin Hubble, Ellipsoid, Equator, Eta Aquilae, Eta Carinae, Exoplanet, Extreme helium star, FK Comae Berenices, ..., Flare star, Frequency, Friedrich Wilhelm Argelander, Fundamental frequency, Galaxy, Gamma Cassiopeiae, Geminiano Montanari, General Catalogue of Variable Stars, Giant star, Giovanni Domenico Maraldi, Globular cluster, Gottfried Kirch, Gravity, Gravity wave, GSC 02652-01324, Guest star (astronomy), Harmonic, HD 209458, Helioseismology, Helium, Henrietta Swan Leavitt, Herbig Ae/Be star, Hour, Hydrogen, Hypergiant, Instability strip, Interference (wave propagation), Johannes Phocylides Holwarda, John Goodricke, Kepler (spacecraft), Large Magellanic Cloud, Light, Light curve, List of variable stars, Local Group, Low-dimensional chaos in stellar pulsations, Luyten 726-8, Main sequence, Metallicity, Mira, Naked eye, Neutron star, Nitrogen, North America, Nova, Nuclear fusion, Opacity (optics), Overtone, Oxygen, P Cygni, Perseus (constellation), Photometry (astronomy), Pre-main-sequence star, Pressure, Proxima Centauri, Pulsar, R Andromedae, R Coronae Borealis, R Hydrae, Red giant, Red supergiant, Resonance, Rho Cassiopeiae, RR Lyrae, S Doradus, SN 1987A, Solar cycle, Solar-like oscillations, Spectral line, Spectrophotometry, Spectroscopy, Spectrum, Star, Stellar classification, Stellar population, Stellar pulsations, Stochastic, Sun, Sunspot, Supergiant, Supernova, Supernova impostor, Supernova remnant, T Tauri star, Telescope, V1500 Cygni, White dwarf, Wolf 359. Expand index (88 more) »


Acoustics is the interdisciplinary science that deals with the study of all mechanical waves in gases, liquids, and solids including topics such as vibration, sound, ultrasound and infrasound.

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Algol (Beta Per, β Persei, β Per), known colloquially as the Demon Star, is a bright star in the constellation Perseus.

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Amateur astronomy

Amateur astronomy is a hobby whose participants enjoy watching the sky, and the abundance of objects found in it with the unaided eye, binoculars, or telescopes.

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American Association of Variable Star Observers

Since its founding in 1911, the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) has coordinated, collected, evaluated, analyzed, published, and archived variable star observations made largely by amateur astronomers and makes the records available to professional astronomers, researchers, and educators.

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The amplitude of a periodic variable is a measure of its change over a single period (such as time or spatial period).

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Apparent magnitude

The apparent magnitude (m) of a celestial object is a measure of its brightness as seen by an observer on Earth, adjusted to the value it would have in the absence of the atmosphere.

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Aristotle (Ἀριστοτέλης, Aristotélēs; 384322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and scientist born in the Macedonian city of Stagira, Chalkidice, on the northern periphery of Classical Greece.

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Arthur Eddington

Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, OM, FRS (28 December 1882 – 22 November 1944) was a British astronomer, physicist, and mathematician of the early 20th century who did his greatest work in astrophysics.

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Asteroseismology (from Greek ἀστήρ, astēr, "star"; σεισμός, seismos, "earthquake"; and -λογία, -logia) also known as stellar seismology is the science that studies the internal structure of pulsating stars by the interpretation of their frequency spectra.

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Astronomical naming conventions

In ancient times, only the Sun and Moon, a few hundred stars and the most easily visible planets had names.

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Bayer designation

A Bayer designation is a stellar designation in which a specific star is identified by a Greek letter, followed by the genitive form of its parent constellation's Latin name.

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Beta Canis Majoris

Beta Canis Majoris (β CMa, β Canis Majoris) is a star in the southern constellation of Canis Major, the 'greater dog', and is located at a distance of about 500 light-years (150 parsecs) from the Earth.

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Beta Cephei

Beta Cephei (β Cep, β Cephei) is a third magnitude star in the constellation Cepheus.

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Beta Lyrae

Beta Lyrae (β Lyr, β Lyrae) is a binary star system approximately away in the constellation Lyra.

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Betelgeuse, also known by its Bayer designation Alpha Orionis (shortened to α Orionis or α Ori), is the ninth-brightest star in the night sky and second-brightest in the constellation of Orion.

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Binary star

A binary star is a star system consisting of two stars orbiting around their common center of mass.

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Binary system

A binary system is a system of two objects in space (usually stars, but also brown dwarfs, planets, galaxies, or asteroids) which are so close that their gravitational interaction causes them to orbit about a common center of mass.

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BY Draconis variable

BY Draconis variables are main-sequence variable stars of late spectral types, usually K or M. The name comes from the archetype for this category of variable star system, BY Draconis.

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Carbon (from carbo "coal") is a chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6.

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Carina Nebula

The Carina Nebula (also known as the Great Nebula in Carina, the Eta Carinae Nebula, NGC 3372, as well as the Grand Nebula) is a large bright nebula that has within its boundaries several related open clusters of stars, all part of the large OB association Carina OB1.

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Chandrasekhar limit

The Chandrasekhar limit is the maximum mass of a stable white dwarf star.

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Chi Cygni

Chi Cygni (χ Cyg, χ Cygni) is a variable star of the Mira type in the constellation Cygnus.

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China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a sovereign state in East Asia.

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The chromosphere (literally, "sphere of color") is the second of the three main layers in the Sun's atmosphere and is roughly 2,000 kilometers deep.

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In modern astronomy, a constellation is a specific area of the celestial sphere as defined by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

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Contact binary

In astronomy, a contact binary is a binary star system whose component stars are so close that they touch each other or have merged to share their gaseous envelopes.

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Convection is the concerted, collective movement of groups or aggregates of molecules within fluids (e.g., liquids, gases) and rheids, through advection or through diffusion or as a combination of both of them.

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Crab Nebula

The Crab Nebula (catalogue designations M1, NGC 1952, Taurus A) is a supernova remnant and pulsar wind nebula in the constellation of Taurus.

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Crab Pulsar

The Crab Pulsar (PSR B0531+21) is a relatively young neutron star.

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Cygnus (constellation)

Cygnus is a northern constellation lying on the plane of the Milky Way, deriving its name from the Latinized Greek word for swan.

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David Fabricius

David Fabricius (March 9, 1564 – May 7, 1617), was a German pastor who made two major discoveries in the early days of telescopic astronomy, jointly with his eldest son, Johannes Fabricius (1587–1615).

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Degenerate matter

Degenerate matter in physics is a collection of free, non-interacting particles with a pressure and other physical characteristics determined by quantum mechanical effects.

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Delta Cephei

Delta Cephei (δ Cep, δ Cephei) is the Bayer designation for a quadruple star system located approximately 887 light-years away in the northern circumpolar constellation of Cepheus, the King.

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Deneb (α Cyg, α Cygni, Alpha Cygni) is the brightest star in the constellation Cygnus and one of the vertices of the Summer Triangle.

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Doppler effect

The Doppler effect (or Doppler shift) is the change in frequency of a wave (or other periodic event) for an observer moving relative to its source.

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Double star

In observational astronomy, a double star is a pair of stars that appear close to each other in the sky as seen from Earth when viewed through an optical telescope.

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Dwarf nova

A U Geminorum-type variable star, or dwarf nova (pl. novae) is a type of cataclysmic variable star consisting of a close binary star system in which one of the components is a white dwarf that accretes matter from its companion.

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Dwarf star

The term dwarf star refers to a variety of distinct classes of stars.

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DY Persei variable

DY Persei variables are a subclass of R Coronae Borealis (R CrB) variables.

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Earth (also the world, in Greek: Gaia, or in Latin: Terra), is the third planet from the Sun, the densest planet in the Solar System, the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets, and the only astronomical object known to accommodate life.

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An eclipse is an astronomical event that occurs when an astronomical object is temporarily obscured, either by passing into the shadow of another body or by having another body pass between it and the viewer.

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Edward Pigott

Edward Pigott (1753 - 1825) was an English astronomer.

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Edwin Hubble

Edwin Powell Hubble (November 20, 1889 – September 28, 1953) was an American astronomer who played a crucial role in establishing the field of extragalactic astronomy and is generally regarded as one of the most important observational cosmologists of the 20th century.

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An ellipsoid is a closed quadric surface that is a three-dimensional analogue of an ellipse.

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An equator is the intersection of a sphere's surface with the plane perpendicular to the sphere's axis of rotation and midway between the poles.

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Eta Aquilae

Eta Aquilae (η Aql, η Aquilae) is the Bayer designation for a star in the equatorial constellation of Aquila, the eagle.

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Eta Carinae

Eta Carinae (abbreviated to η Carinae or η Car), formerly known as Eta Argus, is a stellar system containing at least two stars with a combined luminosity over five million times that of the Sun, located around 7500 light-years (2300 parsecs) distant in the direction of the constellation Carina.

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An exoplanet or extrasolar planet is a planet that orbits a star other than the Sun.

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Extreme helium star

An extreme helium star (abbreviated EHe) is a low-mass supergiant that is almost devoid of hydrogen, the most common chemical element of the Universe.

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FK Comae Berenices

FK Comae Berenices is a variable star that varies in apparent magnitude between 8.14m and 8.33m over a period of 2.4 days.

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Flare star

A flare star is a variable star that can undergo unpredictable dramatic increases in brightness for a few minutes.

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Frequency is the number of occurrences of a repeating event per unit time.

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Friedrich Wilhelm Argelander

Friedrich Wilhelm August Argelander (22 March 1799 – 17 February 1875) was a German astronomer.

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Fundamental frequency

The fundamental frequency, often referred to simply as the fundamental, is defined as the lowest frequency of a periodic waveform.

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A galaxy is a gravitationally bound system of stars, stellar remnants, interstellar gas and dust, and dark matter.

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Gamma Cassiopeiae

Gamma Cassiopeiae (γ Cas, γ Cassiopeiae) is the star at the center of the distinctive "W" asterism in the northern circumpolar constellation of Cassiopeia.

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Geminiano Montanari

Geminiano Montanari. Geminiano Montanari (June 1, 1633 – October 13, 1687) was an Italian astronomer, lens-maker, and proponent of the experimental approach to science.

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General Catalogue of Variable Stars

The General Catalogue of Variable Stars (GCVS) is a list of variable stars.

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Giant star

A giant star is a star with substantially larger radius and luminosity than a main-sequence (or dwarf) star of the same surface temperature.

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Giovanni Domenico Maraldi

Giovanni Domenico Maraldi (17 April 1709 – 14 November 1788) was an Italian-born astronomer, nephew of Giacomo F. Maraldi.

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Globular cluster

A globular cluster is a spherical collection of stars that orbits a galactic core as a satellite.

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Gottfried Kirch

Gottfried Kirch (Kirche, Kirkius) (December 18, 1639 – July 25, 1710) was a German astronomer and the first 'Astronomer Royal' in Berlin and, as such, director of the nascent Berlin Observatory.

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Gravity or gravitation is a natural phenomenon by which all things with mass are brought towards (or 'gravitate' towards) one another including stars, planets, galaxies and even light and sub-atomic particles.

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Gravity wave

In fluid dynamics, gravity waves are waves generated in a fluid medium or at the interface between two media when the force of gravity or buoyancy tries to restore equilibrium.

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GSC 02652-01324

GSC 02652-01324 is an orange dwarf main sequence star approximately 512 light-years away in the constellation of Lyra (the Lyre).

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Guest star (astronomy)

In Chinese astronomy, the guest star (ke xing 客星) is a star which has suddenly appeared in a place where no star had previously been observed and becomes invisible again after some time.

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The term harmonic in its strictest sense is any member of the harmonic series.

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HD 209458

HD 209458 is an 8th magnitude star in the constellation Pegasus.

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Helioseismology is the study of the propagation of wave oscillations, particularly acoustic pressure waves, in the Sun.

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Helium is a chemical element with symbol He and atomic number 2.

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Henrietta Swan Leavitt

Henrietta Swan Leavitt (July 4, 1868 – December 12, 1921) was an American astronomer who discovered the relation between the luminosity and the period of Cepheid variable stars.

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Herbig Ae/Be star

A Herbig Ae/Be star (HABe) is a pre-main-sequence star – a young (V. Mannings & A. Sargent (2000) High-resolution studies of gas and dust around young intermediate-mass stars: II. observations of an additional sample of Herbig Ae/Be systems. Astrophysical Journal, vol. 529, p. 391 Hydrogen and calcium emission lines are observed in their spectra. They are 2-8 Solar mass objects, still existing in the star formation (gravitational contraction) stage and approaching the main sequence (i.e. they are not burning hydrogen in their center). In the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram these stars are located to the right of the main sequence. They are named after the American astronomer George Herbig, who first distinguished them from other stars in 1960. The original Herbig criteria were.

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The hour (common symbol: h or hr) is a unit of measurement of time.

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Hydrogen is a chemical element with chemical symbol H and atomic number 1.

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A hypergiant (luminosity class 0 or Ia+) is a star with an enormous luminosity showing signs of a very high rate of mass loss.

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Instability strip

The unqualified term instability strip usually refers to a region of the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram largely occupied by several related classes of pulsating variable stars: Delta Scuti variables, SX Phoenicis variables, and rapidly oscillating Ap (roAp) stars near the main sequence; RR Lyrae variables where it intersects the horizontal branch; and the Cepheid variables where it crosses the supergiants.

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Interference (wave propagation)

In physics, interference is a phenomenon in which two waves superpose to form a resultant wave of greater or lower amplitude.

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Johannes Phocylides Holwarda

Johannes Phocylides Holwarda (Jan Fokkesz, Jan Fokker, Johann Holwarda, Johannes Fokkes Holwarda, Jan Fokkens Holwarda, Jan Fokkes van Holwerd) (February 19, 1618—January 22, 1651) was a Frisian astronomer, physician, and philosopher.

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John Goodricke

John Goodricke FRS (17 September 1764 – 20 April 1786) was an English amateur astronomer.

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Kepler (spacecraft)

Kepler is a space observatory launched by NASA to discover Earth-like planets orbiting other stars.

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Large Magellanic Cloud

The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is a nearby galaxy, and a satellite of the Milky Way.

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Light is electromagnetic radiation within a certain portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.

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Light curve

In astronomy, a light curve is a graph of light intensity of a celestial object or region, as a function of time.

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List of variable stars

There are over 41,638 known variable stars (2008), with more being discovered regularly, so a complete list of every single variable is impossible at this place (cf. GCVS).

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Local Group

The Local Group is the galaxy group that includes the Milky Way.

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Low-dimensional chaos in stellar pulsations

Low-dimensional chaos in stellar pulsations is the current interpretation of an established phenomenon.

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Luyten 726-8

Luyten 726-8, also known as Gliese 65, is a binary star system that is one of Earth's nearest neighbors, at about 8.7 light years from Earth in the constellation Cetus.

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Main sequence

In astronomy, the main sequence is a continuous and distinctive band of stars that appears on plots of stellar color versus brightness.

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In astronomy and physical cosmology, the metallicity or Z, is the fraction of mass of a star or other kind of astronomical object, beyond hydrogen (X) and helium (Y).

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Mira (also known as Omicron Ceti, ο Ceti, ο Cet) is a red giant star estimated 200–400 light years away in the constellation Cetus.

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Naked eye

Naked eye (also called bare eye) is the practice of engaging in visual perception unaided by a magnifying or light-collecting optical device, such as a telescope or microscope.

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Neutron star

A neutron star is a type of compact star that can result from the gravitational collapse of a massive star after a supernova.

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Nitrogen is a chemical element with symbol N and atomic number 7.

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North America

North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere.

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A nova (plural novae or novas) is a cataclysmic nuclear explosion on a white dwarf, which causes a sudden brightening of the star.

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Nuclear fusion

In nuclear physics, nuclear fusion is a nuclear reaction in which two or more atomic nuclei come very close and then collide at a very high speed and join to form a new nucleus.

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Opacity (optics)

Opacity is the measure of impenetrability to electromagnetic or other kinds of radiation, especially visible light.

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An overtone is any frequency higher than the fundamental frequency of a sound.

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Oxygen is a chemical element with symbol O and atomic number 8.

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P Cygni

P Cygni (34 Cyg) is a variable star in the constellation Cygnus.

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Perseus (constellation)

Perseus, named after the Greek mythological hero Perseus, is a constellation in the northern sky.

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Photometry (astronomy)

Photometry is a technique of astronomy concerned with measuring the flux, or intensity of an astronomical object's electromagnetic radiation.

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Pre-main-sequence star

A pre-main-sequence star (also known as a PMS star and PMS object) is a star in the stage when it has not yet reached the main sequence.

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Pressure (symbol: p or P) is the force applied perpendicular to the surface of an object per unit area over which that force is distributed.

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Proxima Centauri

No description.

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A pulsar (short for pulsating radio star) is a highly magnetized, rotating neutron star that emits a beam of electromagnetic radiation.

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R Andromedae

R Andromedae (R And) is a Mira-type variable star in the constellation Andromeda.

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R Coronae Borealis

R Coronae Borealis is a peculiar low-mass yellow supergiant star, and is the prototype of the rare RCB class of variable stars, which fade by several magnitudes at irregular intervals.

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R Hydrae

R Hydrae, also known as R Hya, is a Mira-type variable star in the constellation Hydra.

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Red giant

A red giant is a luminous giant star of low or intermediate mass (roughly 0.3–8 solar masses) in a late phase of stellar evolution.

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Red supergiant

Red supergiants (RSGs) are supergiant stars (luminosity class I) of spectral type K or M. They are the largest stars in the universe in terms of volume, although they are not the most massive.

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In physics, resonance is a phenomenon that occurs when a given system is driven by another vibrating system or external force to oscillate with greater amplitude at a specific preferential frequency.

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Rho Cassiopeiae

Rho Cassiopeiae (ρ Cas, ρ Cassiopeiae) is a yellow hypergiant star in the constellation Cassiopeia.

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RR Lyrae

RR Lyrae is a variable star in the Lyra constellation, located near the border with the neighboring constellation of Cygnus.

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S Doradus

S Doradus is one of the brightest stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite of the Milky Way.

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SN 1987A

SN 1987A was a supernova in the outskirts of the Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud (a nearby dwarf galaxy).

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Solar cycle

The solar cycle or solar magnetic activity cycle is the nearly periodic 11 year change in the Sun's activity (including changes in the levels of solar radiation and ejection of solar material) and appearance (changes in the number of sunspots, flares and other manifestations).

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Solar-like oscillations

Solar-like oscillations are oscillations in other stars that are excited in the same way as those in the Sun, namely by convection in its outer layers.

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Spectral line

A spectral line is a dark or bright line in an otherwise uniform and continuous spectrum, resulting from emission or absorption of light in a narrow frequency range, compared with the nearby frequencies.

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In chemistry, spectrophotometry is the quantitative measurement of the reflection or transmission properties of a material as a function of wavelength.

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Spectroscopy is the study of the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation.

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A spectrum (plural spectra or spectrums) is a condition that is not limited to a specific set of values but can vary infinitely within a continuum.

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A star is a luminous sphere of plasma held together by its own gravity.

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Stellar classification

In astronomy, stellar classification is the classification of stars based on their spectral characteristics.

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Stellar population

In 1944, Walter Baade categorized groups of stars within the Milky Way from their spectra.

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Stellar pulsations

Stellar pulsations are caused by expansions and contractions in the outer layers as a star seeks to maintain equilibrium.

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The term stochastic occurs in a wide variety of professional or academic fields to describe events or systems that are unpredictable due to the influence of a random variable.

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The Sun (in Greek: Helios, in Latin: Sol) is the star at the center of the Solar System and is by far the most important source of energy for life on Earth.

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Sunspots are temporary phenomena on the photosphere of the Sun that appear visibly as dark spots compared to surrounding regions.

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Supergiants are among the most massive and most luminous stars.

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A supernova is a stellar explosion that briefly outshines an entire galaxy, radiating as much energy as the Sun or any ordinary star is expected to emit over its entire life span, before fading from view over several weeks or months.

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Supernova impostor

Supernova impostors are stellar explosions that appear at first to be a type of supernova but do not destroy their progenitor stars.

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Supernova remnant

A supernova remnant (SNR) is the structure resulting from the explosion of a star in a supernova.

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T Tauri star

T Tauri stars (TTS) are a class of variable stars named after their prototype – T Tauri.

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A telescope is an instrument that aids in the observation of remote objects by collecting electromagnetic radiation (such as visible light).

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V1500 Cygni

V1500 Cygni or Nova Cygni 1975 was a bright nova occurring in 1975 in the constellation Cygnus.

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White dwarf

A white dwarf, also called a degenerate dwarf, is a stellar remnant composed mostly of electron-degenerate matter.

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Wolf 359

Wolf 359 is a red dwarf that is located in the constellation Leo, near the ecliptic.

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Eclipsing Variable star, Eruptive variable, Extrinsic variable, FK Comae Berenices variable, FK Comae star, Intrinsic variable, Planetary transit variable, Pulsating star, Pulsating variable, R corona borealis star, Rotating variable, Stellar variation, Variable star (disambiguation), Variable stars, Variable-star, Z Andromedae variable.


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variable_star

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