Variable Stars

What is a Cepheid variable?

Cepheid variable stars are not binary stars as cataclysmic variables are. Rather, they are single stars that pulsate—grow and shrink in size, with a corresponding change in their luminosity—because of internal processes. Cepheid variables have played a key role in the study of the universe because their pulsations create a period-luminosity relation that allows them to be used as standard candles for distance determinations.


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