I submitted my first variable star measurements to the BAA having started my programme in June of this year using a pair of 100mm binoculars.
I am surprised to find that observing variable stars is great fun! I love observing the planets and the moon as they are forever changing. Well, so are these stars! These objects brighten and fade over the periods of days and months – some predictably and some not. I have lost count of the number of times I have seen, say the Orion Nebula. And while I look forward to every view it hasn’t changed in all the years I have been observing. By contrast, all the stars I observed in this programme have changed.
There is also a challenge to the process. One has to find the star field (in my case after star hopping), identify the correct star in the field of view, make a comparative brightness estimate (while being cognisant of avoiding any human bias) and then deduce the magnitude.
It feels more useful than collecting deep sky observations for sure!
Having had some time off over Christmas, I put some thoughts into a blog article that I hope may be of use: