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Variable stars named after people?

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percyjoh's picture
Variable stars named after people?

Is anyone aware of variable stars which are named after people, other than some of the ones in wikipedia:


John Percy

conan's picture
Better link?

Hello John,

Are you sure you don't mean the link below? 

That one seems to work better, for me anyway.


percyjoh's picture
Variable stars named after people

Thanks!  I have corrected it.



Romano's Star
Variable stars named after people?

Burnhams Celestial Handbook lists:

Andrew's Star  NSV2537  page 290 and Pearce's Star  AO Cas page 503.





Gustav Holmberg
CH UMa was, for a time after

CH UMa was, for a time after discovery, called Goranskij's object, at least by Swedish amateurs.

Cor Caroli

The variable part of α CVn (the prototype of ACV variable stars) is officially called 'Cor Caroli' after an (also variable) English king named Charles.

M.Saladyga's picture
There was "Dorrit's Hypernova

There was "Dorrit's Hypernova" (so-called by AAVSOers)


AAVSO Abstracts, April 1963

"The First Hypernova"

Harlan Smith and E. Dorrit Hoffleit


BGW's picture
a transient

Not quite what you intend I don't think, but there is "Hertzsprung's Enigmatic Object".  A transient that appeared on only one of the Harvard plates.  But it was certainly real, and not a plate defect, because the plate was a double exposure (all stars appear twice, side-by-side, and it appears in both exposures).  It's brightness was different on the two exposures.  Of course, it could have been a transient comet-like coma around an asteroid-like object, rather than a transient associated with a distant star.

According to my notes, there was an article about it in Dec '67 S&T.  (But internet says it was 1962, not 1967).

It was fun looking this up in the plate stacks.  Once I opened the correct cabinet, and identified the right shelf, it was obvious:  the plate was in a bright new jacket -- the old one had worn out, due to so many people accessing it.  Sobering to think of the eyes that had looked at that piece of glass...

Gary Billings

BRJ's picture
A Transient

Gary, Hertzsprung's Enigmatic Object was definitely of a stellar nature in some unique form. Comets simply don't behave in that fashion (i.e. that briefly flare up). This would be particularly so given that the two images on the Harvard plate were seperated only by a relatively brief interval in time.

Short of resulting from an incredibly bright outburst by an unrecognized flare star, or the brightest gamma ray burst ever, I can't imagine of any stellar event that would otherwise fit the bill.

And to Richard, I haven't heard anyone reference so-called Andrew's Star in decades! I don't even recall it being written up in Burnhams. I'll have to dust my ancient copy off and have a look. My own attention to the "star" was elicted by an article in S&T at some point in the mid to late 1960's, shortly after I had launched my career in variable star observing with the AAVSO. I recall that my long ago monthly reports to HQ included quite a large number of always negative observations of the supposed object for a couple of years.

J.Bortle   (BRJ)


percyjoh's picture
Variable stars named after people

Dear Colleagues,

Thanks for all your interesting suggestions.  I shall be off to the literature to pursue them.


stellakafka's picture
Another one ...

I just stumbled upon another one: "Hanny's Voorwerp”. This is essentially a quasar ionization echo, quite rare, known thanks to a citizen scientist (she is a Dutch school teacher) who participated in Galaxy Zoo…

Best wishes - clear skies,


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