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A New Book on Variable Stars by a Former RASC President

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Written by Brenda M. Shaw, Toronto on
Post Date: 
Sun, 2007/06/17

The astronomical community welcomes a new book on variable stars by the RASC's most esteemed expert on the subject, Dr. John Percy. Understanding Variable Stars (ISBN 9780521232531) was published this spring by Cambridge University Press. In Dr. Percy's own words:

"The primary audiences are skilled amateur astronomers, and undergraduate research students.  I was introduced to the first audience in the early 1960's through the RASC, by people such as Jack Heard, Helen Hogg, and Ruth Northcott, and later through the AAVSO; it's dedicated to my dear friend and colleague Janet Mattei, who directed the AAVSO for 30 years until her untimely death.  I began supervising the second audience 40 years ago when I joined the faculty of the University of Toronto.

So this book has been a 40-year project.  I have worked on it on and off (mostly off) for 25 years but, since I "retire" this year, I thought I had better get it finished.  It's finished, but not perfect, so I rather hope that I can do a second edition in a few years!  Time will tell.

I hope that the book will pass on my enthusiasm for variable stars, and their role in research -- by both amateurs and professionals -- and in education."

Amateurs and academics with an interest in the subject of variable stars will perhaps come to regard this as a modern classic.

Understanding Variable Stars (Cambridge University Press)
Dr. Percy's bio (University of Toronto)

Understanding Variable Stars, by Dr. John Percy