Extrinsic variables have variations in their brightness, as seen by terrestrial observers, due to some external source. One of the most common reasons for this is the presence of a binary companion star, so that the two together form a binary star. When seen from certain angles, one star may eclipse the other, causing a reduction in brightness. One of the most famous eclipsing binaries is Algol, or Beta Persei (β Per).
VSS runs a number of projects related to eclipsing binary systems, which are outlined below.
Project Leader: Peter Williams
Visual observers are invited to participate in monitoring of BL Tel for which ongoing observations are required. BL Tel was the subject of a long-term visual study between 1983 and 2000 with 8 eclipses recorded during that time. Results of those eclipses are summarised in Publications 25 (C99) of the VSS RASNZ (2000). BL Tel is an Algol type system well suited to visual observation and need only be followed during the 3 months centred on the predicted date of mid eclipse.