AAVSO: American Association of Variable Star Observers

An Update on the Status of RR Lyrae Research—Report of the RRL2015 Meeting (October, Hungary) (Abstract)

Volume 44 number 1 (2016)

Katrien Kolenberg
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138; kkolenberg@cfa.harvard.edu


(Abstract only) In October 2015 we organized the first international meeting focused on RR Lyrae research, with the goal to discuss recent developments and future RR Lyrae plans. The Scientific rationale is the following: The field of RR Lyrae studies is vigorous and has recently gained new momentum. These pulsating variable stars are part of the space photometric revolution: continuous, high-precision observations shed new light on the still mysterious Blazhko-modulation, unexpected dynamical phenomena have been discovered, novel ideas and hypotheses have emerged. On the theoretical front multidimensional hydrocodes are about to mature, allowing for an improved description of the interaction between convection and pulsation, and the exploration of nonradial motions. Ongoing and future sky surveys, like OGLE, VVV, and LSST, will provide an overwhelming amount of data enabling researchers to address a multitude of astrophysical questions where RR Lyrae stars play a significant role. Long-awaited astrometric data from the GAIA satellite will give a boost to the study and application of these galactic and extragalactic standard candles. The aim of this conference is to bring together theorists and observational astronomers working on distant areas to share their latest results and vision about the future of RR Lyrae research, while putting these fascinating objects into a wide astrophysical context from pulsation theory to near-field cosmology. I will give an overview of the results shared at this meeting, and highlight the potential role of the AAVSO in this fascinating subfield.