The theme of this year’s spring meeting is Pulsating Stars. The meeting will begin on Thursday evening at 6pm CDT with a keynote address by Dr. Horace Smith, Professor Emeritus of Michigan State University and a noted expert on RR Lyrae stars. Dr. Smith's talk will be accessible remotely, to anyone for free, via GoToWebinar. The link to register will be made available soon. Stay tuned.
Title- Learning from Pulsating Stars: Progress over the Last Century
Abstract- Scarcely more than a century has elapsed since it began to be widely accepted that pulsation plays an important role in the variability of stars. During that century pulsating stars have been used as tools to explore a variety of astrophysical questions, including the determination of distances to other galaxies, the testing of timescales of evolution through the HR diagram, and the identification of the ages and star formation histories of stellar populations.
Among the significant early milestones along this investigative path are Henrietta Leavitt's discovery of a relation between the periods and luminosities of Cepheids, Harlow Shapley's proposal that all Cepheids are pulsating stars, and Arthur Stanley Eddington's use of the observed period change of delta Cephei to constrain its power source. Today our explorations of pulsating stars are bolstered by long observational histories of brighter variables, surveys involving unprecedentedly large numbers of stars, and improved theoretical analyses. This talk will review aspects of the history and our current understanding of pulsating stars, paying particular attention to RR Lyrae, delta Scuti, and Cepheid variables. Observations by AAVSO members have provided insight into several questions regarding the behavior of these stars.
For more information on this year's spring meeting see- https://www.aavso.org/apps/meetings/Spring2016/