Antelope Hills Observatory

Research-Quality Observations for the Astronomical Community

VARIABLE STARS

One area where amateurs using CCD cameras can do useful science is the observation of variable stars.  For a great introduction to variable stars, see the Variable Stars page of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) website.

 

 

The CCD camera is ideal for doing precise, professional quality measurements of the magnitudes of stars.  Thus, it is an excellent instrument for variable star research.

 

One class of variable stars worthy of study are the eclipsing binaries. These systems consist of two stars rotating around each other, sometimes within just a matter of hours. By studying the changing brightness, it is possible to observe the eclipses produced when one star passes in front of the other. From just the observation of the changing brightness of the system, much can be learned about the physical properties of both of the stars.

 

Another important area of study is cataclysmic variable stars.  These stars are novae, which can exhibit large increases in brightness in a very short time.  For this research, Antelope Hills has been accepted into the Center for Backyard Astrophysics, a worldwide collaboration of highly experienced observers.  We are proud to now be  “CBA Colorado”.

 

Another class of variable stars are supernovae.  These exploding stars provide an opportunity for the amateur observer to work with the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams, to promptly confirm supernova discoveries.

 

 

 

Robert A. (Bob) Koff

980 Antelope Drive West

Bennett, CO 80102 USA

 

Phone: 303-644-3509

E-mail: bob@AntelopeHillsObservatory.org

Antelope Hills Observatory