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Matrix Software > Learng Astrology > Astrophysical Directions > Galactic Objects > Variables Types

Learn Astrology

Back to Galactic Objects   |   Back to Astrophysical Direction 

The Two Types of Variables

Extrinsic Variables

Extrinsic are not "true" variable stars. Their variations are not caused by something happening within them, but by the intervention of some external action or by changes in aspect, as when an ellipsoidal star revolves or rotates. The eclipsing variables are extrinsics that change brightness when two stars eclipse one another, total or partially, and sometimes stars appear to have variance due to obscuring matter drifting in front of them. These often show physical interaction with interstellar matter.


Intrinsic Variables

These are the true variable stars, for something within them is happening to cause the variation in their appearance. The rest of this article will describe some of the basic attributes of the various major types of intrinsic variable stars. A more thorough introduction to this category of fixed stars may be found in the bibliography at the end of this seroes of articles. Some intrinsic variables have a more or less regular rhythm or period and are termed Periodic Variables, while others are only periodic in a rough fashion and ire termed Semi-regular or Cyclic Variables.

These semi-regular variables may be seen to dissolve, in a step-by-step manner, into those stars whose variations show no obvious pattern, the Irregular Variables. The most spectacular of all the variables are the Novae, Supernovae, and other Cataclysmic or Exploding Variables.


Copyright (c) 1997-99 Michael Erlewine


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