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Suggestions for Analysis of Short Period Variables

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Suggestions for Analysis of Short Period Variables

Hello! I have been following SZ HYA, RY AQR, aned RY LIB as part of my observing program for the last couple of years. My initial goal was to learn my equipment in order to obtai accurate photometry. I think that I am meeting that goal now.

    I thought a new goal might be to analyze the data that I have obtained for one these variables and present it in a form that might be publishable in the JAAVSO.

    Itm has been a while since I've performed statistics, and I have never performed any photometry analysis in any case.

    What might be an analysis that might be useful? Thank you and best regards.


Michaelm Heald

SHA's picture
Blazhko Effect

In addition to its primary pulsation as a fundamental mode RR Lyrae star, SZ Hya shows the Blazhko effect, a secondary period much longer than the fundamental mode period.  It might be interesting to see whether you can see the Blazhko effect in your own observations of this star.  Investigating the Blazhko effect in an RR Lyrae star can require many observations. However, some Blazhko variables have shown long term changes in the period and amplitude of the Blazhko effect, making comparisons of new and old observations of Blazhko stars interesting.  Several studies of Blazhko variables have been published in the JAAVSO, and a number of Blazhko variables have long been monitored by AAVSO observers.  These might serve as a guide to the sort of work that can be done with these stars.  I would be happy to provide more detailed references if you are interested.  Of course, studies of the long term changes of the primary periods of both pulsating and eclipsing stars are also always of interest.

Horace Smith



Thank you! Mike

Thank you!


wel's picture
A book that answers all of your questions!


Hi Michealm,

This book, written by long-time AAVSO person and variable star fan, is the best introduction there is!

VStar contains many of the methods described in the book and David Benn has blogged about using VStar to repeat Grant Foster's examples.



period-analysis software

Hi Michaelm,

Do you already have software for performing period analysis? I use Peranso for this purpose, and I've found it to be easy to use and remarkably powerful. In addition to period analysis, it also does an excellent job of organizing large sets of photometry; with the click of a button, you can jump instantly from one light curve to the next. VStar also has period-analysis capabilities, but I haven't used it. While VStar is freeware, Peranso is not.


Best Regards,


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