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Noun: cepheid variable
  1. (astronomy) a radially pulsating (expanding and contracting) variable star with a regular period, having a known relationship between period and intrinsic luminosity; measurements of the period and observed brightness allow the distance to be inferred
    "The distance ladder was built up over several stages first using parallax measurements and then cepheid variables";
    - cepheid

Derived forms: cepheid variables

Type of: variable, variable star

Encyclopedia: Cepheid variable