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Magnitudes of a Variable Star

Keywords: time series, sum of sinusoids, discrete spectra


The data give the magnitudes of a variable star at midnight on 600 consecutive nights.

Variable Description

Star Magnitude on each night


Data File (tab-delimited text)


Whittaker, E. T., and Robinson, G. (1924). The Calculus of Observations. English Universities Press, London.

Bloomfield, P. (1976). Fourier Analysis of Time Series: An Introduction. Wiley, New York.

Data contributed by Kit Bingham, University of Minnesota.


A constant plus a sum of two sinusoids gives an almost perfect fit. As Bloomfield implies on page 25 of his book, the fit is actually so good as to be suspicious.

Time series plot



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