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What's your favorite Variable Star?

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#1 PCygniii

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 04:28 PM

I have to admit my favorite variables are big, freaky, unstable and unpredictable stars like Rho Cas and P Cyg. For all we know they've already gone supernova and the photons of their massive implosion are hurtling towards at the speed of light even as we speak... But I also like quiet stars too like R Cam, a circumpolar Mira that was my first AAVSO estimate. Curious to hear what your favorites are and why.

#2 jmarc

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 06:26 PM

V UMI. Not very interesting star, but I like the drawing of this field of stars. And I can find it easily all the year

#3 jgraham

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 07:16 PM

SS Aur... I love this star. It normally glows way down around magnitude 16, then every couple of months it explodes up to magnitude 10ish. The first time I caught it in outburst it took me a while to recognize the field because there was this really bright star that wasn't there before! :)

#4 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 07:59 AM

CH Cyg an interesting variable that normally varies slowly and by small ammounts but once in a great while will brighten considerably.

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#5 PCygniii

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 07:01 PM

John,

Can you see it (SS Aur) at min with the big scope? Might check this one out.... How big is the big scope in your profile picture, anyway?

#6 jgraham

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 07:17 PM

I observe variables with my DSI Pro III on an LXD75 SN6, in which case I can easily reach all the way down to about 17th magnitude using 60 second exposures through my V filter. Visually, I usually use my LXD75 AR-6, but I don't try to estimate the brightness visually, I never developed the knack for it. Being red/green color blind may have something to do with it. Instead, I absolutely love watching variables wax and wane in brightness. I particularly like those that fade to below my visual threshold (about magnitude 12) and back. In the case of SS Aur it's invisble visually except when it is in outburst. I just love witnessing one of the most violent events in nature!

The scopes in my avatar are two of some two dozen or so homebuilt scopes I've made over the past 43 years. The yellow scope is a 10" f/6.7 on a polar disk mount. The green scope is a monster 16.5" f/6.7 on a classic Dobson mount. I'm rebuilding the yellow scope so that the tube will match the 16.5".

#7 Bruce MacDonald

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 03:13 PM

I keep coming back to UU Aur. This variable is right in one of my patrol areas for the UK Nova Patrol, and shines a lovely yellow hue, especially when near maximum.

#8 great lesson

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 06:24 PM

Although it is not one of the exciting variables my favorite is W Lyr. It goes from a mag of 7.3 to 13 and has a period of around 198 days. This is my first variable that I could pick out and watch consistently. This may sound stupid but watching this star just makes me better - all of the problems of the day just don't matter - the star is there doing it's thing and even though I know bettter I feel like at that time I am the only watching it.

#9 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 08:27 AM

I keep coming back to UU Aur. This variable is right in one of my patrol areas for the UK Nova Patrol, and shines a lovely yellow hue, especially when near maximum.


I'm somewhat suprised as I would describe UU Aur as a very red variable in my 12x80 binoculars. A beautiful binocular variable.

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#10 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 08:31 AM

Although it is not one of the exciting variables my favorite is W Lyr. It goes from a mag of 7.3 to 13 and has a period of around 198 days. This is my first variable that I could pick out and watch consistently. This may sound stupid but watching this star just makes me better - all of the problems of the day just don't matter - the star is there doing it's thing and even though I know bettter I feel like at that time I am the only watching it.


I to have been observing W Lyr for many years. A fun variable to observe.

Rich (RLTYS)

#11 PCygniii

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 06:04 PM

Although it is not one of the exciting variables my favorite is W Lyr. It goes from a mag of 7.3 to 13 and has a period of around 198 days. This is my first variable that I could pick out and watch consistently. This may sound stupid but watching this star just makes me better - all of the problems of the day just don't matter - the star is there doing it's thing and even though I know bettter I feel like at that time I am the only watching it.


Ah... the calming effect of the stars. I know how you feel.

#12 Bruce MacDonald

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 06:09 PM

I keep coming back to UU Aur. This variable is right in one of my patrol areas for the UK Nova Patrol, and shines a lovely yellow hue, especially when near maximum.


I'm somewhat suprised as I would describe UU Aur as a very red variable in my 12x80 binoculars. A beautiful binocular variable.

Rich (RLTYS)


I know it's a carbon star but to my eyes it looks yellow - like a rich egg yolk. But whatever the colour in the eye of the beholder, it's still a lovely sight. As is Mira at maximum which to me looks a peach/orange colour.

#13 bruno_biIIiaert

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 11:15 AM

UX Ori, X Leo and Z UMa

#14 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 06:46 AM

Bruno, welcome the the CN Variable Star Forum.

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#15 sound chaser

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:50 PM

UX Ori, X Leo and Z UMa


Yes UX Ori for me too, normally around 9.5 then plunges to less than 11.0. I like the Irregulars.
V369 Per is another on my watch list.

#16 groz

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:17 PM

GSC 3074-0114.

Nice short period, with good swing, roughly 0.8 magnitudes over a couple of hours. Was my first attempt at an intensive time series, and I got a fantastic result. Any time I want to test something new, be it cameras, telescopes, or what have you, I try shoot this one, because it can give 'instant gratification' type of results.

#17 RAKing

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:35 AM

I like TZ Cygni. It's a type LB and has a nice range.

I also like a couple of Mira types with short cycles: SS Cass and RT Cygni. These two are located within beautiful star fields, which makes them even more beautiful for me.

And of course, I also like SS Cygni (doesn't everyone?) :lol: I think everyone looks at this one every night, waiting for it to bloom.

Cheers,

Ron

#18 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:37 PM

"What's your favorite Variable Star?" has two meanings. The first, the sense in which it is meant here is about the variable stars we enjoy observing at night with our telescopes and binoculars and unaided vision. I have enjoyed the comments here, but particularly the reference to how observing, recording, being aware of such a stars variations over time...how it is soothing.

There is another sense in which this question can be taken; an absolute sense if you will. It seems our own sun, though for centuries its fixed absolute magnitude was used as a standard for measuring the absolute brightness of all other objects, is no longer considered a standard. (See: http://science.nasa....010/05feb_sdo/)

In the sense that our sun is, also, a variable star, I offer it as my favorite because it sustains our existence; neither too hot, neither too cold, neither too great in its variations....just right.

#19 Cepheus Elf

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:52 PM

I keep coming back to UU Aur. This variable is right in one of my patrol areas for the UK Nova Patrol, and shines a lovely yellow hue, especially when near maximum.


Indeed - I agree that UU Aur is a lovely variable and although a carbon star, it doesn't seem as "red" as say W Ori. Here is a pic of UU Aur I took a couple of years ago with my DSLR and 6" Reflector (f5)

Mick

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#20 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 06:05 AM

Impressive image. :bow:

Rich (RLTYS)

#21 RAKing

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 07:55 AM

Mick,

That is a beautiful image. Could you tell us what your exposure time was?

Thanks,

Ron

#22 Cepheus Elf

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:19 PM

Thanks Ron and Rich.
Ron, I took the image at the newtonian focus of my SW 6" f5 newtonian using my Canon 350d. I always use ISO 400 and I think this image was a stack of about 5 or 6 30 second exp osures (can't remember exactly as it was a while ago!). It is quite heavily cropped to take out coma affected stars around the edge of the field! I'd been observing the star quite a bit using binoculars and a 'V' filtered SBIG ccd and 55mm lens. I've not observed variables for a while now so I really must make an effort to get back into it!! Carbon stars are my favourites!

Mick (AAVSO code CMY)

#23 RAKing

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 05:12 PM

Thanks! :waytogo: I'll have to break out my Canon and give it a whirl.

I actually swore off imaging because of all the extra gear and work, but I would love to take a few pictures of my favorite doubles, variables, and carbon stars.

Cheers,

Ron

#24 Astrodj

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:10 AM

I'm a sucker for carbon stars. I love them!

#25 Philler

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 11:36 PM

Although I haven't observed variables for years, my favorites were RU Peg and Z Cam. They both had an unpredictability to them to keep me tuned in.






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