Wherein Pickering says that astronomers must rely on amateur of astronomy for the vast material needed.
according to such a method that all the observations can ultimately be reduced to the same system. Herschel and Argelander have independently invented what appears to be the true method to be followed. If a star is seen to be very nearly equal to several others, from their light we can at any time define its brightness. It is essential that at least one of the stars selected should be a little brighter, another a little fainter, than the star to be observed. The range within which its light is known is thus also defined. Such observations will far exceed in value any direct estimate of magnitude. When stars are to be compared many times, it is convenient to designate them by letters for brevity. Let vrepresent a star which is suspected to be variable, and a an adjacent star of nearly equal brightness. Owing to fluctuations in the atmosphere, each star will appear to be constantly varying in brightness. If the stars appear equal after a careful examination, or if one appears brighter as ofte
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