Mining Hipparcos's Buried Treasure
Here are 11 stars that need watching.
On Thursday, December 12, 1996, Michael Perryman's e-mail message flashed across the Atlantic: "There is good news from our side. In a quite remarkable collaboration, the Moscow team took all of the Hipparcos variables and assigned new variable star names to (I think) about 3,000 stars. This development which we always knew would be last (it had to wait for everything else) will be a rich addition to the Atlas."
These words, coming from the Hipparcos project scientist, gave Sky Publishing's Millennium Star Atlas team its first inkling of yet another windfall from that satellite (Sky & Telescope: June 1999, page 40). Now we could label thousands of newly discovered variables on our charts using the names by which astronomers of the future would refer to them even though little was known about these stars yet!