Cepheid Variable

An unstable star that pulses in and out, causing a periodic change in brightness. In 1912, Henrietta Leavitt discovered what is known as the period-luminosity relationship for Cepheid variables, by which the period of the brightness change is related to the luminosity, and therefore the distance, of the star. An astronomer can plot a Cepheid's changing brightness to create a light curve for the star. The distance to the Cepheid variable is then obtained by measuring the period of the light curve, which shows the length of each pulsation.

Radio Programs

Polaris III Poking into the life of a famous star Thursday, February 21, 2013
Polaris II The un-steady beat of the North Star Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Eta Aquilae The rhythm of a pulsating star Thursday, September 10, 2009
Stellar Yardsticks Calibrating a cosmic yardstick Friday, March 27, 2009

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