AAVSO: American Association of Variable Star Observers

Spectroscopic and Photometric Study of the Mira Stars SU Camelopardalis and RY Cephei

Volume 49 number 2 (2021)

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David Boyd
BAA Variable Star Section, 5 Silver Lane, West Challow OX12 9TX, UK; davidboyd@orion.me.uk


Miras are fascinating stars. A kappa-mechanism in their atmosphere drives pulsations which produce changes in their photometric brightness, apparent spectral type, and effective temperature. These pulsations also drive the formation of Balmer emission lines in the spectrum. This behavior can be observed and investigated with small telescopes. We report on a three-year project combining spectroscopy and photometry to analyze the behavior of Mira stars SU Cam and RY Cep, and describe how their brightness, color, spectral type, effective temperature, and Balmer emission vary over four pulsation cycles.