Beta Cephei variable

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Beta Cephei variables are variable stars which exhibit variations in their brightness due to pulsations of the stars' surfaces. The point of maximum brightness roughly corresponds to the maximum contraction of the star. Typically, Beta Cephei variables change in brightness by 0.01 to 0.3 magnitudes with periods of 0.1 to 0.6 days. These stars are main-sequence stars of masses between about 7 and 20 M_\odot.

The pulsations of Beta Cephei variables are driven by the kappa mechanism.

The prototype of these variable stars, Beta Cephei, shows variation in apparent magnitude from +3.16 to +3.27 with a period of 4.57 hours.

These stars should not be confused with Cepheid variables, which are named after Delta Cephei.


  • Moskalik P., Dziembowski W.A., 1992, "New opacities and the origin of the Beta Cephei pulsation", Astronomy & Astrophysics, 256, L5
  • Samus N.N., Durlevich O.V., et al. Combined General Catalog of Variable Stars (GCVS4.2, 2004 Ed.)
  • Stankov A., Handler G., 2005, "Catalog of Galactic Beta Cephei Stars", Astrophysical Journal Supplement, 158, 193

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