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Understanding Variable Stars (Cambridge Astrophysics) Hardcover – June 11, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0521232531 ISBN-10: 0521232538 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Astrophysics
  • Hardcover: 374 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (June 11, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521232538
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521232531
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.9 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,588,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Amateurs and academics with an interest in the subject of variable stars will perhaps come to regard this as a modern classic."
The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada

"Tightly written, and frequently interspersed with figures and graphs, the book contains and enormity of fact and discussion...a formost authority on Variable Stars...is a marvellous repository of information. As such it is an ideal textbook for a serious student, or a reference book for the amateur astronomer.: --Astronomy & Space

"If you want a comprehensive guide to the science of variable stars, you can't go wrong with a book written by John Percy, a world authority on variable star observation...as a guide to understanding modern variable star research, it's essential." --BBC Sky at Night

"It is certainly the most up-to-date readable description of the various types of variable stars and what is known about each...Basically, if you observe variable stars, you should read and probably own this book." --HTN of the AAVSO

Book Description

This book provides a concise overview of variable stars, including a historical perspective, an introduction to stars in general, the techniques for discovering and studying variable stars, and a description of the main types of variable stars. It is especially suitable for undergraduate students and experienced amateur astronomers.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By SoCalCodger on September 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This may be the best book I have ever read! Certainly in the top 3 or 4. The writing, editing and production quality are all top notch. The technical level is such that well-informed general readers and those with advanced education in the subject will all appreciate it.

The general format is to first explain the observational characteristics of each class of variable star and then to outline the physical reasons for the variability. If you know in general what a star is, what galaxies are and how we designate stars by their membership in constellations, you know enough to enjoy this book. OTOH even those with an advanced, but non-specialist background, will learn much. I have degrees in physics and mathematics and a life-long interest in astrophysics but was still disabused of several misconceptions about variable stars.

One of the interesting aspects of the book is the way Percy emphasizes the important contributions that amateurs have made and are still making to the study of variable stars, including novae and supernovae.

Highly recommended!
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