Spotting RR Lyrae Stars

RR Lyrae stars are a special type of variable star that changes in brightness due to radial pulsations that increase and decrease the radius of the star . Over the past 3 years, Planet Hunters volunteers on Talk have keenly spotted several previously unknown RR Lyrae stars in the Kepler field, that were nearby neighbors on the CCDs to Kepler targets and were contaminating the photometric aperture used to produce the light curve of the real Kepler target star. You read more about some of these discoveries here. These discoveries have been passed on to collaborators in the Kepler Cepheid & RR Lyrae Working Group who have continued to study those stars including sometimes having the contaminating RR Lyrae added to the Kepler list of targets to get its full light curve.

Katrien Kolenberg who is a member of the Kepler Cepheid & RR Lyrae Working Group, recently wrote a chapter for the conference proceedings of the ’40 Years of Variable Stars: A Celebration of Contributions by Horace A. Smith’ Conference’, and she presented a similarly titled talk at the conference this past May.  In the chapter, she gives a summary of the science from the now over 55 RR Lyrae stars known in the Kepler field. She includes a shout out to  Planet Hunters  to acknowledge the project’s contribution to discovery. Congratulations to all involved in the RR Lyrae discoveries. You can read the chapter from the conference proceedings here.


3 responses to “Spotting RR Lyrae Stars”

  1. Brian Warren says :

    Thanks for this, Meg. Another great update.
    Meg, I’ve tried every time to tick the ‘Like’ button, but it doesn’t recognise me, so it doesn’t let me in. I always try to use 1st my e-mail/password, then my username/password & the program acknowledges me on both, but comes up with “Incorrect Username Or Password’!!!
    I hope you guys can sort it for me, otherwise I won’t be able to let you know that I like you!!
    Brian Warren

    • Meg says :

      Not sure what the issue is, it could be something to do with changing the blog name. If it happens with the next blog let me know and I’ll ask the Zooniverse development team if they can take a look.

      • Brian Warren says :

        Thank you for that. After all, I really do wish to emphasise my appreciation of you & the rest of the team’s hard work & competence.
        Brian Warren

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