Abstract by Ian Clark

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Presenter's Name

Ian Clark

Degree Level



Denise Stephens
Eric Hintz
Mike Joner

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Physics and Astronomy

Faculty Advisor

Denise Stephens


The Periods and Period Changes of ZZ Piscium


We are studying how the light from ZZ Piscium (ZZ Psc), a ZZ Ceti type white dwarf star, is changing over time in order to detect its periods of pulsation.  ZZ Ceti white dwarfs pulsate by the partial ionization and recombination of hydrogen in their atmospheres.  ZZ Psc has not only been known to pulsate, but its pulsation periods change over short timescales.  We observed this white dwarf using the 0.9-meter WMO telescope and the 0.4-meter David Derrick telescope in B, V, and clear filters to determine the stabilities of its periods over time and as a function of wavelength.  We combined this data with archival data from the AAVSO database.  We found a few new periods for ZZ Psc that are not in published literature and that the pulsation periods change in amplitude and frequency over timescales of about a year.