Variability type filtered searches in VSX?

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Mon, 09/04/2023 - 21:45

Hello everyone.

Watching the last How-to-Hour I asked how to select within any of the AAVSO databases the stars of a specific variable type. Someone said that could be done in VSX.

So, I tried it and obtained a partial success:
(1) By leaving the "Name field" empty in VSX, then selecting a given constellation to circumscribe the output to this constellation boundaries, and specifying the output to be ordered by variable types; naturally, the output was limited to the chosen constellation, a partial answer to my desires since I would have to repeat the procedure for each and every constellation;
(2) Doing the same as above, without specifying the constellation; here I received an alert: "Your search terms will almost certainly match a large number of objects. This could take a very long time. Do you want to continue?". I clicked OK and less than a minute later I obtained an output limited to 5,000 objects and a note: "Result truncated to 5000 rows. Use more criteria or save the results as a CSV file." When I ordered VSX to save the output as a CSV file, I obtained a listing with 9,999 stars, which I could sort, filter, etc.. So, the output doubled but was still limited.

Here comes my question: Is there a way to make VSX - or any other AAVSO tool - output only the stars of a given variability type, let's say, the "Be Stars", and hopefully extract all the stars of the selected variable type, maybe unlimited in the number of objects?

Thanks for your input, cheers,

Ari Siqueira

(Obs. ID SAMA, Brazil)

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
VSX extended search options

Hi Ari.
You are not doing it properly.

You have to click on the more button at the bottom left in order to obtain a coordinate-based search option at first, and then (by clicking on More once again) get to the extended search options.
That is where you will be able to perform all types of searches using different parameters.

You mentioned type.
If you want to obtain the list of all Be-type stars you have several options.
First of all, there is not only one variability type for Be stars.
GCAS are Be stars showing outbursts.
BE are Be stars without outbursts or with small amplitude light changes. Some might be not well-observed GCAS stars.
Other variability types that may have Be stars among their target lists are LERI, DPV and FSCMa.
UXORs are AeBe stars so... And the cPNB[e] variables (although B[e] is not the same as Be).

So, you can search by variability type one by one, or, at the right of the variability type field you will find a drop down menu that you can use to download data on specific groups of stars. Be variables is one of them. BE, GCAS, FSCMa and cPNB[e] stars will all be listed.

You also have the option to search by spectral type. So you can write %B%e% to get a complete list and you will also get objects that did not turn up on other searches, like ZAND systems with Be stars. However, there are too many options of spectral types including "Be" or "be", and the fact that an emission line star can have luminosity classes Ib, Iab, IIb, IIIb, etc, may end up with a "be" where the "B" is not actually a B-type star, so it is not an option that I recommend.

If you use the extended search options, the csv file you will download won't have any limit, so you can do large searches (e.g. the 81,000 miras will be all in the resulting file).

I hope this helps.


American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
VSX extended search options

Hello, Sebastian,

Your guidance is highly appreciated. I’ll be practicing the search modes you just described being certain that this is what I needed. Thank you.

It seems that I should take a VSX CHOICE course ASAP - - when offered, of course.

Best regards,