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Week 7: Variable stars

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Artist’s impression of accreting binary star Nova Aquilae. Against a black background, the larger and cooler star is shown on the left as a slightly elliptical red-orange shape, with a lobe extending to the right. On the right is a white ellipse surrounding the white dwarf star. The elliptical shape depicts a circular disk of swirling material, seen at an angle, surrounding the white dwarf. The central part of this accretion disk is shown in white with the colour changing first to blue and then to yellow-green moving outwards. A trail of material extends from the red-orange companion star, depicting material being transferred from the outer envelope of the larger star on the left to join the accretion disk on the right.