Algol, the “Ghoul” Or “Demon” Star: A Supplement to “the Earth Stands Fast” by John Watts de Peyster

Excerpt from Algol, the “Ghoul” Or “Demon” Star: A Supplement to “the Earth Stands Fast”

Two or three hundred stars are now recognized as variable. The most probable explanation of the variation in long periods is that stars so affected have periodical maxima and minima of disturbances, resembling that which causes the sun spots, only more marked. Some of the variables of short period are probably covered unequally in different parts of their surface by Spots. But the variation of such stars as Algol, which shine with a constant lustre for the greater part of each period, and are reduced in lustre for a short interval, cannot be thus explained, and we must suppose that a large opaque orb circling around them transits [partially eclipsing] the central luminary at regular intervals.

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