HU Aqr: Rhythms of a variable star

Axel Schwope & Robert Schwarz

Astrophysical Institute Potsdam



The field of HU Aqr was imaged with a CCD camera attached to the 70cm telescope of the Babelsberg Observatory . The observations lasted about 2 hours with integration times of individual exposures 10 sec. By watching the movie you may witness a deep eclipse in a binary star. Shown are in the top part subsequent images of the field with a time resolution of 1 min (mean of 5 original images), in the bottom part the light curve of the variable star. The moving red pointer therein marks the binary phase and brightness of the variable star of each image on display. Click on the twinkling star (4.1 MB mpeg)!


(small version 0.7 MB mpeg)


The machine behind: an interacting binary star


Artists conception of the binary star ( © Mark Garlick)
(click on the painting to see the binary in action)