Cover image for Observing variable stars
Observing variable stars
Good, Gerry A., 1954-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London ; New York : Springer, [2003]

Physical Description:
viii, 274 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QB835 .G58 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Observing variable stars is one of the major contributions amateur astronomers make to science. There are 36,000 variable stars listed in the General Catalogue of Variable Stars, so it is clearly impossible for the limited number of professional observatories to target even the majority of them. That's where amateur astronomers come in - thousands of them turning their telescopes to the sky every night. Variable star observing is the most popular of "real science" activities for amateurs, and Gerry Good's book provides everything needed. The first part of the book provides a highly detailed account of the various classes of variable star, with examples, illustrations and physical descriptions. The second section covers practical aspects of observing, everything from preparation and planning, through observing techniques, to data management and reduction.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Monitoring variable stars is one of the most important contributions that amateur astronomers can make to the science of astronomy. It is an exacting task that requires careful measurements of stellar brightness night after night. Good's book contains everything that an amateur astronomer needs to know to begin monitoring variable stars and to begin contributing to the scientific investigation of this class of important objects. The book's most valuable section is a detailed listing of essentially every type of variable star, with a brief description of the physical mechanism behind the variation and example light curves. Anyone who observes variable stars will want to keep this handy reference nearby. The book also includes very thorough sections on observing techniques, equipment, data analysis, and reporting results along with a large number of useful Internet references for making or obtaining charts and for finding additional information. The author has clearly accomplished his goal of creating the "definitive book about observing variable stars ... for amateur astronomers." ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. General readers; lower- and upper-division undergraduates; two-year technical program students. E. M. Murphy University of Virginia