Cataclysmic Variables

  • Martin Mobberley
Part of the Astronomers' Observing Guides book series (OBSERVING)

In the last 20 years, with increasing numbers of amateur astronomers owning large-aperture telescopes and sensitive Charge-coupled device (CCD) detectors, there has been a major increase in the popularity of observing challenging, but dramatic, variable stars. Some so-called ‘eruptive’ stars easily qualify as dramatic even without a telescope. Brilliant naked-eye supernovae (within our own galaxy) have occurred in historic times, and some novae have also become easy naked-eye objects. However, the term cataclysmic variable, or CV, is generally used to describe rather fainter telescopic objects that, nevertheless, have a dramatic outburst magnitude compared to their normal state. Quite often these stars are invisible visually, at minimum, even in large amateur telescopes. Indeed, they are often invisible in amateur CCD images, too, except when in outburst. However, the brightest examples are easy binocular objects.

The CVs we are considering here are eruptive systems comprised of binary...


Orbital Period Accretion Disk White Dwarf Hubble Space Telescope Variable Star 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Mobberley
    • 1
  1. 1.UK

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