Understanding Variable Stars was first published in 2007. Variable stars are those that change brightness. Their variability may be due to geometric processes such as rotation, or eclipse by a companion star, or physical processes such as vibration, flares, or cataclysmic explosions. In each case, variable stars provide unique information about the properties of stars, and the processes that go on within them. Understanding Variable Stars provides a concise overview of variable stars, including a historical perspective, an introduction to stars in general, the techniques for discovering and studying variable stars, and a description of the main types of variable stars. It ends with short reflections about the connection between the study of variable stars, and research, education, amateur astronomy, and public interest in astronomy. Understanding Variable Stars is intended for anyone with some background knowledge of astronomy, but is especially suitable for undergraduate students and experienced amateur astronomers who can contribute to our understanding of these important stars.
"If you want a comprehensive guide to the science of variable stars, you can't go wrong with a book written by John Percy, a world authority on variable star observation."
- BBC Sky at Night magazine
2. Stars in general
3. Rotating variable stars
4. Eclipsing variable stars
5. Pulsating variable stars
6. Cataclysmic variable stars
7. Young variable stars
8. Miscellaneous variable stars
9. Applications of variable stars
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John R. Percy is Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto. He is the world authority on variable star observation and author of books on astronomy and science education (especially astronomy).