The Pulsation Theory of Variable Stars

Article metrics


CEPHEID (variable stars—the name given to stars which behave like δ Cephei—have played a distinguished part in modern astronomy. Their most characteristic feature—that there is a definite relation between period and median absolute luminosity—was discovered by Miss Leavitt in 1912 when investigating the Lesser Magellanic Cloud. Owing to this relation, the measurement of period and apparent magnitude allows one to compare the absolute and apparent luminosities, and so affords a reliable estimate of distance, once the zero point of the period-luminosity curve has been fixed. In this way, Shapley determined the distances of the globular clusters, and Hubble determined the distances of the extra-galactic nebulæ .

The Pulsation Theory of Variable Stars

By Svein Rosseland. (International Series of Monographs on Physics) Pp. viii+152. (Oxford: Clarendon Press; London: Oxford University Press, 1949). 18s net.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

MILNE, E. The Pulsation Theory of Variable Stars. Nature 163, 703–704 (1949) doi:10.1038/163703a0

Download citation


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.