Prague, Nov 12 (CTK) – Czech astronomers rejoice at their discovery of the 1000th variable star in outer space, the Czech Astronomical Society and the Astronomical Institute told CTK on Saturday, adding that Pavel Cagas discovered the star at a private observatory in Zlin, south Moravia.
“Not all stars shine permanently unchanged. The brightness of some stars changes in time, sometimes quite strikingly. Such stars are known as variable stars,” Pavel Suchan, from the institute, said.
He said 52,000 variable stars have been registered in the relevant international catalogue, which, however, is far from including all discoveries.
The number of all known variable stars is estimated at 400,000, Suchan said.
“Czech astronomers have helped discover them, very intensively in the past years,” he said.
The Czechs discovered “their” first variable stars in 1993 and then some 500 in the following two decades.
“The fact that another 500 were discovered in mere three years proves hat even amateur astronomers use better and better telescopes, bigger cameras and more efficient software,” Suchan said.
Astronomer Cagas, with 371 discoveries, is the Czech most successful variable star seeker.
The Czech number 1000 is a binary star, it has a red colour and its surface temperature is estimated at 3,700 to 4,200 degrees Celsius.
Variable stars are of crucial importance for astronomers because they enable to study their interior, surface and surroundings and also help experts determine distances in outer space.