EAS Publications Series
Volume 45, 2010GAIA: At the Frontiers of Astrometry
|Page(s)||267 - 272|
|Published online||15 February 2011|
C. Turon, F. Meynadier and F. Arenou (eds)
EAS Publications Series, 45 (2010) 267-272
Pulsating variable stars, powerful tools for galactic structure and evolution
INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna,
via Ranzani 1, 40127
Pulsating variable stars are powerful tools to study the structure and evolution of galaxies. Among different types of pulsating variables the Classical Cepheids trace the young stellar component in galaxies, and are one of the most important primary stellar distance indicators in establishing the cosmic distance scale. Instead, the RR Lyrae stars, with ages comparable to the age of the Universe, eyewitnessed the processes occurring in the very early times of galaxy formation, and thus can provide hints on how galaxies have formed. The role played by the pulsating variable stars in our understanding of the galactic structure and evolution is briefly reviewed in light of the promises of the scientific exploitation of the Gaia mission.
© EAS, EDP Sciences 2011
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