The joys of observing variable stars are predictably wonderful. Learn about these inconstant stars which are consistently delightful.
R Aquarii may look like a normal pulsing red giant — but it has a lot more going on around it. Its next episode of weirdness may begin soon...
A recently discovered supernova in Lupus now shines around magnitude +11.5, bright enough to see in a modest telescope. With photos and maps, we'll get you there. I wished I lived in Georgia and not just for the peach trees and warmer weather. No, I'd be able to get up early tomorrow morning to marvel at…
A nova in Sagittarius, discovered a few nights ago by a Japanese amateur, has become bright enough to see in binoculars.
The recurrent nova T Coronae Borealis last made a splash just after World War II. Does its current restive state hint at an imminent outburst?
Get acquainted with SS Cygni, the sky's brightest cataclysmic variable star. It's guaranteed to keep you on your toes.
Lurking in the seemingly changeless constellations are a few inconstant stars that pulse and eclipse. Here are a dozen variables that are easy to observe.
Robin Leadbeater of Wigton, UK, has reported the first sign of the long-awaited eclipse of Epsilon Aurigae, one of the most remarkable eclipsing variable stars in the sky.
Beta Lyrae, an eclipsing binary, is one of the brightest and easiest-to-find variable stars in the sky.
The red, Mira-type variable star Chi Cygni has had a very unusual maximum. It's one of the brightest such variables to begin with (typically peaking at about magnitude 5.2), but in late July and early August 2006, it peaked at about magnitude 3.8.
This red long-period variable is sometimes visible to the unaided eye and sometimes invisible even in a 4-inch telescope.
The satellite caught tantalizing pieces of light curves for many new variable stars. Now it's time to fill in the details.
Few observers have spotted an ever-elusive "new" star. Fewer still have done it twice. Observing styles and techniques are as varied as the searchers themselves.
Some of the Hipparcos satellite's unfinished business provides fair game for backyard observers.
Now you can calculate the dates and times (local and Universal Times) when the eclipsing variable star Algol should be at its dimmest (magnitude 3.4 instead of its usual 2.1).
Studying and recording the ups and downs of variable stars is a pleasant pastime that can also be scientifically rewarding. Here's a simple project to get you going.
One is usually bright but fades unexpectedly; one is almost always faint but brightens unexpectedly. Check them out with binoculars.
For the fourth summer in a row, the head of the bright constellation Scorpius looks a little unusual.
This naked-eye variable should be near peak brightness every Wednes-day night during August, September, and October.
Catch a orange-red variable star in Cygnus, the Swan, as its brightness peaks in early July.
The long-period variable star T Cephei peaks this October. The star is relatively easy to locate in binoculars because of its red hue.
An unusually bright supernova has gone off in NGC 2403, an 8.5-magnitude galaxy in the constellation Camelopardalis, the Giraffe.
Easily found with the naked eye, 4th-magnitude Rho Cassiopeiae may be getting ready for an enormous mass ejection in the next few months.
The long-period variable Chi Cygni peaks in March. Here's where to find it and what to expect.