Simulators for assisting the teaching of observational astronomy. Part II: Photometry of normal and variable stars in total visible light
A simulator is described which, viewed with a commercial photomultiplier photometer, enables students to practise some of the techniques of quantitative stellar photometry in the laboratory. A fictitious open cluster is presented which contains stars of differing colours and apparent magnitudes. When a switch is closed, four of these stars undergo regular cyclic variations in brightness, with patterns typical of Algol, beta Lyrae, and Cepheid-type variables. From their own and given data, students can subsequently calculate apparent and absolute magnitudes, light curves, distances, etc., obtaining results comparable with corresponding objects in the real sky.
Mills, A. A. (1983). Simulators for assisting the teaching of observational astronomy. Part II: Photometry of normal and variable stars in total visible light. European Journal of Physics, 4(4), 198. https://doi.org/10.1088/0143-0807/4/4/002