Variable Stars Group

The Variable Stars Group is a Special Interest Group undertaking Citizen Science projects with people around the world.

Variable star observations can be made visually, with binoculars / small telescope or using imaging equipment similar to the Astroimaging Group members. Serious science observations can be taken from suburban back yards using fairly basic equipment which can be used by researchers around the world.

The ASSA Variables Stars Group has close links with the American Association of Variable Star Observers ( (AAVSO), the primary international organisation for variable star observers and data analysts and Variable Stars South ( (VSS), also affiliated with the AAVSO. Both promote variable star research in the southern hemisphere. VSS has a specialist Eclipsing Binaries Section that prepares a research report annually.

Data from observations is presented in graphical form like this phase plot from an eclipsing binary clearly showing the occultations of the two O class stars in TU Musca (data from Robert Jenkins).

Phase plot of eclipsing binary TU Mus

The ASSA group does not meet face-to-face but uses the Variables Chat Group on the ASSA members page or the Variables email address. Training sessions on observing variable stars have been organised by ASSA in the past and if demand is sufficient, could be held in the future. The Variable Star group have given talks to ASSA General Meetings, schools and interested organisations in South Australia and interstate.

More information is available on Observing Variable Stars, Classifying Variable Stars, Comet Discoveries by Variable Star observers and Location of resources at this site. To contact the ASSA Variable Stars Group, e-mail Robert Jenkins.