Variable Stars Common Observation
Mission in Particular Areas of the Sky
Classification of Variable Stars
In the section howewer we focus on a classification for stars with a measurable change in brightness, since astronomers have to classify them according to observable properties. Many years ago, several classes of variable stars were described in terms of a prototype star; and astronomers would define new classes to encompass minor observational differences from known variables. Modern variable star taxonomy is more generic. Variability types are grouped according to the major astrophysical reasons for variability. The following well-known major categories are now recognised:
- Pulsating - radial or non-radial pulsation eg: Miras and semiregular variables, Cepheids, RV Tau stars.
- Eruptive - variation caused by flares or shell ejection; eg: flare stars, T Tau variables, RCBs, S Doradus stars.
- Cataclysmic - variation caused by explosions of the star or an accretion disc. Includes dwarf novae, classic novae & supernovae.
- Rotating - variation caused by starspots, magnetism, or changing shape. eg: pulsars, elliptical stars and magnetic variables.
- Eclipsing - binaries where one component passes in front of the other, as seen by the observer.
|Pulsating Stars||Eruptive / Cataclysmic||Eclipsing Binaries||Rotating Variables|
- W Vir, P > 8d (CWA)
- BL Her, P < 8d (CWB)
Pulsating white dwarf type
Below you can find charts for a quick variability type determination, based on different properties (for the most common types only).
|Variable Star Type Definitive Charts|
|By Period||By Mag Amplitude||By Spectral Class|
- Typological Classification of Variable Stars
- GCVS: General Catalogue of Variable Stars // Sternberg Astronomical Institute
- Variable Star Type Designations in VSX // AAVSO
- AAVSO: Variable Star of the Season Archive
Variables by Type
Variables by Magnitude
Variables by Period
Build Own Criteria