IN his stirring “Call to Friends of Astronomy” (Schumacher's Jahrbuch, 1844) to aid the advance of the science by taking up some definite department of work, Prof. Argelander, among other points for investigation, drew attention to the observation of variable stars as presenting a fascinating field of inquiry in which much valuable work might be done. Forty years have passed since this appeal was made. The list of eighteen stars visible in these latitudes then certainly known to be variable has grown to at least ten times the number, while a new “instrument of precision” has been placed in the hands of the observer in the form of the spectroscope, which has largely increased his powers. But, after all, it must be acknowledged that we are still greatly in ignorance of the causes which immediately underlie the striking phenomena which are presented to our view.
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Variable Stars . Nature 31, 604–606 (1885). https://doi.org/10.1038/031604a0