New Perspectives on Stellar Pulsation and Pulsating Variable Stars: IAU Colloquium 139 (I a U Colloquium//Proceedings)

  • Publish Date: 1993-11-26
  • Binding: Hardcover
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The study of pulsating variable stars has undergone dramatic changes in the past decade. The use of Cepheids and RR Lyrae stars as distance indicators has been extended by the increased sensitivity afforded by CCD detectors and by infrared observations. Meanwhile, other classes of pulsators, such as Mira and SX Phe variables are providing independent checks of the distance scale. Long-standing discrepancies between pulsational and evolutionary masses are finally being resolved by the new OP and OPAL opacity calculations, as is the mystery of the $\beta$ Cephei excitation mechanism. Seismology of the oscillations of the Sun, white dwarfs, Ap stars and delta Scuti stars has opened windows on internal stellar structure, while Doppler Imaging reveals an entire range of high-degree pulsations hitherto undetectable by conventional photometry or radial velocity measurements. Observations of Long Period Variables have cast a new light on the implications of mass loss for stellar evolution and the history of the interstellar medium. On other fronts, more rigorous treatments of convection and radiative diffusion are starting to bring theory and observation into closer agreement. This book, the proceedings of the International Astronomical Union's Colloquium 139 held in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada in July 1992, contains over thirty comprehensive reviews as well as summaries of over 100 contributed papers, reflecting the current scope of stellar pulsation research. It is an overview of the most recent developments in the field, and a preview of some of the advances expected in the decade to come.