Definitions for variable star

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word variable star

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

var′iable star′(n.)

  1. a star that varies in brightness often in a regular period.

    Category: Astronomy

Origin of variable star:


Princeton's WordNet

  1. variable star, variable(noun)

    a star that varies noticeably in brightness


  1. variable star(Noun)

    Any star whose brightness varies.


  1. Variable star

    A variable star is a star whose brightness as seen from Earth fluctuates. This variation may be caused by a change in emitted light or by something partly blocking the light, so variable stars are classified as either: ⁕Intrinsic variables, whose luminosity actually changes; for example, because the star periodically swells and shrinks. ⁕Extrinsic variables, whose apparent changes in brightness are due to changes in the amount of their light that can reach Earth; for example, because the star has an orbiting companion that sometimes eclipses it. Many, possibly most, stars have at least some variation in luminosity: the energy output of our Sun, for example, varies by about 0.1% over an 11 year solar cycle.


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