Fr.: effet Blazhko
A long term, generally irregular modulation of → light curves of a large subclass of → RR Lyrae stars. Most of the modulations occur on the time scale of some 60 periods, although the range extends from some tens to some hundreds of periods. Since its discovery over a hundred years ago, a number of explanations have been proposed for this effect, but its nature is still a matter of investigation. The explanations include: closely spaced pulsation modes, a modal 1 : 2 resonance, an oblique rotator model, a non-radial modal interaction, convective cycles, and nonlinear resonant mode coupling between the 9th overtone and the fundamental mode (see, e.g., R. Buchler and Z. Kolláth 2011, astro-ph/1101.1502).
Named after Sergei N. Blazhko (1870-1956), a Russian astronomer who discovered the effect for the star EW Dra (1907, Astron. Nachr. 175, 325); → effect.