Concept

Cepheid variable

Summary
A Cepheid variable (ˈsɛfi.ɪd,_ˈsiːfi-) is a type of variable star that pulsates radially, varying in both diameter and temperature. It changes in brightness, with a well-defined stable period and amplitude. Cepheids are important cosmic benchmarks for scaling galactic and extragalactic distances. A strong direct relationship exists between a Cepheid variable's luminosity and its pulsation period. This characteristic of classical Cepheids was discovered in 1908 by Henrietta Swan Leavitt after studying thousands of variable stars in the Magellanic Clouds. The discovery allows one to know the true luminosity of a Cepheid by just observing its pulsation period. This tells one the distance to the star, by comparing its known luminosity to its observed brightness. The term Cepheid originates from Delta Cephei in the constellation Cepheus, identified by John Goodricke in 1784. It was the first of its type to be identified. The mechanics of stellar pulsation as a heat-engine was proposed
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