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SS Virginis

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SS Vir is a semiregular variable with an "inconvenient" period of 361 days, which is close enough to one year that we cover nearly the same phase range year after year.  This makes it challenging to understand the light curve without lots of data.  To make things even more complicated, there's a slight undulation in minimum and maximum magnitude that occurs over the course of a few decades.  It's a true equatorial source (declination +00:46) so we lose it to the Sun for a few months each year, as the annual gaps in the light curve show. 

Stars like this are great targets for early-risers (or night-owls) who can do pre-dawn observations easily.  If you happen to be a morning person, you can find such stars using our Observation Planner Tool and picking stars near zenith in the early morning hours (between 0200 and 0600 local time).  Doing so helps fill in some of those annual gaps and improve our light curves.  It makes better looking light curves for sure, but it also makes it easier to do science with them.

For more information visit: /basic-observation-planner
Prepared By: Matthew Templeton
AAVSO 49 Bay State Rd. Cambridge, MA 02138 aavso@aavso.org 617-354-0484