W Virginis variable stars

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Term: W Virginis variable stars

A member of a class of pulsating stars with a period of 1 to 35 days located in the instability strip of the H-R diagram. Also known as type II Cepheid variables, W Virginis stars are typically 1.5 mag fainter than classical Type I Cepheids and have a mass less than that of the Sun. They also exhibit a period-luminosity relation which is distinct, but works in a similar way to the relation for Type I Cepheids. Hence W Virginis stars can also be used to measure Galactic and extragalactic distances.

Created 2023.04.16
Last Modified 2023.04.16
Contributed by Ryan McGranaghan