Stellar Pulsations: Impact of New Instrumentation and New Insights pages:81-84
Astrophyiscs & Space Science Proceedings
Stellar Pulsations Impact of New Instrumentation and New Insights; Stellar Pulsation Meeting edition:20 location:Granada, Spain date:5-9 September 2011
The origin of the conspicuous amplitude and phase modulation of the RR Lyrae pulsation---known as the Blazhko effect---is still a mystery more than 100 years since its discovery. With the help of the Kepler space telescope we have revealed a new and unexpected phenomenon: period doubling in RR Lyr---the eponym and prototype of its class---as well as in other Kepler Blazhko RR Lyrae stars. We have found that period doubling is directly connected to the Blazhko modulation. Furthermore, with hydrodynamic model calculations we have succeeded in reproducing the period doubling and proved that the root cause of this effect is a high order resonance (9:2) between the fundamental mode and the ninth radial overtone, which is a strange mode. We discuss the implications of these recent findings on our understanding of the century-old Blazhko problem.