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.
Observing Variable Stars.- The Variable Stars.- Eruptive Variable Stars.- Pulsating Variable Stars.- Cataclysmic (Explosive and Nova-like) Variable Stars.- Rotating Variable Stars.- Close Binary Eclipsing Systems.- Optically Variable Close Binary Sources of Strong, Variable X-ray Radiation (X-ray Sources).- A General Approach to Observing Variable Stars.- Variable Star Observing.- Variable Star Observing Preparations.- Variable Star Observing Methods.- Variable Star Data Management, Reduction and Analysis.- Variable Star Reporting and Recording Organisations.
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