Chasing down variable stars from a decade-long dataset

Nikki Giti Noughani, Ralf Kotulla


Finding and characterizing variable stars is at the heart of a relatively modern branch of astronomy named time-domain astrophysics. Variable Stars are ordinary stars that change in brightness on widely varying degrees. Characterizing the details of how this brightness fluctuates and on what timescales, as well as the star's average properties (mean brightness, temperature, etc.), is greatly important to understanding the process of stellar evolution. For this project, we use data over ten years from the 0.5 meter Sloan Digital Sky Survey telescope. We will develop tools that can identify several variable stars, estimate their variability periods and timescales, and determine the shape of their brightness variations over this time.


Variable stars, stellar evolution

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