Astronomical Society of Edinburgh
Journal 45

W Lyrae

W Lyrae is a Mira like, long term variable star. It is a good one to observer from Edinburgh as it is visible for most of the year at a reasonable height above the horizon. The figure is a record of observations between February and November 2002. These months include a full phase of the variability of W Lyrae.

Observations were made from suburban Edinburgh with a 200mm Newtonian using a time 50 eyepiece. However, at minimum, when the magnitude was under 12, a times 100 eyepiece had to be used. Magnitude estimates, at minimum, are a bit uncertain as observations are at the limits of visibility from suburbia.

The observations confirm the standard data. The star does vary between 7.7 and 12.3 in magnitude and the period does seem to be about 196.4 days.

The observations suggest a feature of the light curve which has not been read of in connection with the particular star. The star pauses, in its brightening sequence, at 9.2 magnitude for around ten days. A partial set of observations, recorded in 2001, showed the same feature. Such pauses have been recorded for other Mira like variables.

The maximum recorded in 2001 was at magnitude 8.5. The first one in 2002 was at 7.7 and it seems, at the time of writing, that the second maximum in 2002 will be at 8.5. This variability of maxima is another feature of Mira stars.

Des Loughney
4th November 2002

W Lyrae

graph of observations of w lyrae

Julian Date
2452300 - 2452600
(2002 January 25 - 2002 November 21)