Variable stars are those whose brightness changes over time. Astronomers (amateurs and professionals alike) have played an integral role in making variable star observations, resulting in significant databases that are used to study these objects. These data can be used to ascertain physical processes taking place on the star, be it regular pulsations or material accreting onto the star in explosive, irregular events. My plan for the summer 2011 is to take pictures of variable stars using remote observatories, to learn observational techniques used with digital images, and to familiarize myself with image analysis tools that have come about since the last time I did variable star research in 1991. I plan to identify, observe, and analyze data from at least 5 different variable stars, to contribute these data to the American Association of Variable Star Observer data base, and ultimately lay the foundation for future BSU undergraduate research projects.
Arndt, Martina (2011). Variable Stars. CARS Summer Grants. Item 1.