A star in the winter sky : Mekbuda


The star Mekbuda, in the constellation of Gemini, is a pulsating star. Its pulsating nature allows researchers to obtain more information from it than from a non-variable star.

The characteristics of pulsations are related to the internal properties of the star. By studying how it pulsates we may know how its internal structure is.

Pulsations cause variations in the stellar radius, which then cause the surface temperature to change and thus the colour. The spectral type of Mekbuda, goes from F (white-yellow) to G (yellow).

However, it is unusual that a star changes its spectral type due to pulsations. Only some pulsating stars, like Cepheids, have such dramatic variation in their radius to cause that change.

Indeed, Mekbuda is a classical Cepheid, a well known type of variable stars that has been used to measure distances in the Universe.

Author: Antonio García Hernández
Researcher of IA in the thematic line “Towards a comprehensive study of stars”.