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Welcome to the short period pulsators section

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Welcome to the short period pulsators section

This is just a welcome to those interested in exploring the nature of short period pulsating variable stars.  Historically this has primarily been Cepheids and RR Lyr.  Since my research interest is delta Scuti I hope to add a lot more targets of this type.  I also plan to add gamma Doradus, roAp stars, and perhaps information on white dwarf objects.  Some of these might be very challenging target. Finally, there is a chance to explore a potential new class of pulsating variable stars from their Fourier parameters. 

I'm working to update the SPP pages with more information and new targets.  This might be a slow process, but hopefully you will see new items at regular intervals. 

If you have questions, or idea, you can use the forum, or you can contact me directly.

I look forward to working with everyone.

Eric Hintz (Brigham Young University, Orson Pratt Observatory)

Ccolvin968's picture
Looking forward to the

Looking forward to the updates!

I'm in the process of trying to figure out which type of variables I want to "specialize" in and SPP's are definitely on the short list.

Really can't wait to see the new targets and how we may be able to contribute to a potential new class of variable! :)

Have a good one!

mgw's picture
Great to see the new short period pulsator forum!

Eric and Bert,

Thanks for starting the new forum!  These should be some interesting targets - with much to learn.  I'll be adding some of your targets to my observing list and look forward to reading more about them!


X LMI in B,V,I

I have been getting some RR Lyrae and Cepheid lightcurves in the last couple of years in two or three colors.  Attached is the last two nights on X LMi.  Luckily the time-of-max ephemeris prediction in VSX was off by about 3 hours, so I was able to capture successive maxima at the end of the first night, and at the beginning of the second night, getting complete phase coverage in the process (two 9 to 10-hour runs).  The plot simply has the three lightcurves stacked up with B,V,I from bottom to top.  This from the Lowell 0.7-m robotic telescope on two 'photometric' (cloud-free) nights.


File upload: 
Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner's picture
Revitalized SPP Section

Hi Eric:
Great to see this.  I've been observing SPPs (almost exclusively RRLs but a few HADS and, recently, a couple of dozen Cepheids) for many years.  I've been hoping for over a couple of years now to get involved in supporting the Section (including starting up a forum) but have (and may always be?) involved with too many projects to make the time available.  However, this new forum re-energizes me and I hope I can contribute.


I've been observing Cepheids

I've been observing Cepheids and RR Lyr stars almost exclusively in my DSLR program, because they are about the only bright variables that aren't either too red or have strong emission lines.  But I am concerned that the accuracy achievable in measuring magnitudes with a DSLR may be insufficient to improve the Cepheid/RR Lyr rung of the cosmological distance scale.  Could you comment on the requirements for measurement accuracy to support that research?

All observations help

A lot of the work requires accurate periods from the data. With that in mind every data point helps. While errors in individual points might be higher, when they are averaged with data from other observers they work great.  I've been working on a Cepheid variable spectroscopically and while the photometric data in the archive has a significant error range, the average let we see a phase jump in the light curve that was predicted from the spectroscopy.  While any data helps it is good to get into at least a few hundreths range in terms of error.  If you can push to lower errors so much the better.

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