Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Observing Variable Stars
A Guide for the Beginner

$54.00 ( ) USD

  • Date Published: March 2011
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9780511870965

$ 54.00 USD ( )
Adobe eBook Reader

You will be taken to for this purchase
Buy eBook Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Variable star astronomy is one field that still allows amateur astronomers to make significant contributions to the advancement of science. Everyone can play a part in variable star observations, using a small telescope, binoculars, or even the naked eye. Written by an award-winning astronomer, Observing Variable Stars provides a comprehensive introduction to the field of variable star observation for the amateur. The book begins with advice on binoculars and telescopes, and on how and when to observe stars effectively. Levy then explains the ways in which to interpret variation in light output in terms of the life of a star, from birth to sometimes violent death. All the major variables are described and classified, as well as other variable objects such as active galaxies, asteroids, comets, and the sun. The book also illustrates how astrophysicists interpret variations in light output in terms of the evolution of stars. Observing Variable Stars contains a seasonal guide to the night sky usable in all latitudes. Throughout, practical observations serve to complement the text, making this an enjoyable, readable introduction to an exciting area of astronomy.

    • Not just a sky guide, this book suggests ways to make a real contribution to astronomy
    • Clearly written, lively style, clear star charts
    • Provides a good historical background to variable stars and those who observed the stars
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    " a simple guide for the novice observer, this volume has no rival." Astronomy

    "...successfully mixes the technical and human aspects of variable star observing and the reader is treated to a number of historical digressions that are educational in themselves." Astronomy

    "A well-written guide, by one of this country's most enthusiastic amateur astronomers..." Andrew Fraknoi, Mercury

    "If you think variable star observing is boring, this book will convince you otherwise. Most importantly, Observing Variable Stars will get you outside looking at the sky." Deep Sky

    "...marvelous and enchanting book about amateur astronomers and variable stars." Sky & Telescope

    "This new book is delightful and I learned a few new facts by reading it...The work is well researched, thought out, and executed...For those of you who have not yet been introduced to variable stars, enjoy this introduction. For those already acquainted with 'variables,' give yourself a few cloudy nights with this delightful book!" The Strolling Astronomer

    "Well presented with large, readable print, the book covers all the bases. Systematic observation is the goal, but the route is illuminated with anecdote and historic perspective." Griffith Observer

    "...This is a quality book throughout. I recommend it highly to amateurs everywhere who feel that they have passed the 'star gazing' stage and now wish to make their own personal contribution to human knowledge. The publishers are to be commended for giving David Levy the chance to make it available to a wide audience..." The Reflector

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2011
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511870965
    • contains: 96 b/w illus. 2 tables
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    Opening thoughts
    Part I. Getting To Know The Sky:
    1. Beginning with the Big Dipper
    2. Magnitude, color, and distance
    3. A word on binoculars and telescopes
    4. Learning to see
    Part II. Getting To Know The Variables:
    5. Meeting the family
    6. Getting started with Cepheids
    7. Algol, the demon of autumn
    8. How to estimate a variable
    9. Names and records
    10. Observing hints
    11. Stately and wonderful
    12. Stars of challenge
    13. Bright, easy, and interesting
    14. Betelgeuse: easy and hard
    15. Not too regular
    16. Nova? What nova?
    17. Supernovae
    18. Three stars for all seasons
    19. A nova in reverse
    20. RU Lupi?
    21. Orion, the star factory
    22. Other variable things
    23. The Sun
    Part III. Suggested Variables For Observation Throughout The Year: Introduction: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December, Southern sky notes
    Part IV. A Miscellany:
    24. Stars and people
    25. The next generation
    26. Going further
    Glossary and abbreviations

  • Author

    David H. Levy


    Janet A. Mattei

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.