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Traditionally, the section's programme listing has grouped stars according to the type of variability seen. Hence you would see a list of Eclipsing variables, a list of Cepheid variables, a list of Semi-regular variables ... and so on.
However ... with the SPA particularly focussing on newcomers to observing, it would seem better to order the list of variable stars to take into account how often and for how long the potential observer is able to observe.
Hence the new look, in which the stars are split into 5 categories:
- stars that can show significant brightness changes over the course of a few hours
- stars that show brightness changes over a week, sometimes from night to night
- stars that show brightness changes over the course of several months
- stars that show very large brightness changes over the course of a year
- stars that are totally unpredictable
To see the list of stars, click on this Programme Listing
For each variable star listed, clicking on its name takes you to a guide and finder chart(s) for that star.
As you will see, the programme includes a mixture of naked eye and and binocular variables (for stars in the 4th category you would also need a telescope if you wanted to follow them all the way down to minimum).
Section members are, of course, free to observe and report observations of any variable star, but experience has shown that the stars in the Programme Listing do tend to prove very rewarding to follow.
Added by: Tracie Heywood