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RU Lupi

RU Lupi is one of many T Tauri variables under observation by the amateur community.  These stars are young objects, still accreting matter from the dust and gas clouds from which they form.  In this case, RU Lup sits in the midst of a large dust cloud clearly visible against the background of stars.  Variability in this type of star can be generated in a number of ways, although the most prominent is due to accretion; as material falls onto the surface of the star, the star brightens.  Some young stars also show dimming by orbiting dust clouds, or brightening from magnetic activity on the star's surface.  This light curve shows a particularly active time in RU Lupi's history, from 1987 to 1994.  It's important to remember that the visible light curve only tells part of the story.  RU Lup has been observed at nearly all wavelengths from the radio to X-rays, and it shows activity at nearly all wavelengths.  By observing stars at multiple wavelengths, we can obtain a more complete picture of how and why they vary. 

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