My research highlight for the day was a conversation with Ben Pope (NYU) about projects involving hot stars. We have been kicking around various projects and we realized in the call that they really assemble into a whole research program that is both deep and broad:
There are problems related to finding transiting planets around hot stars, which is maybe getting less attention than it should, in part because there are technical challenges (that I think we know how to overcome). And planets found around hot stars might have very good properties for follow-up observations (like transit spectroscopy, for example, and reflected light), and also good prospects for harboring life! (Okay I said it.)
There are problems related to getting stellar ages: Hot stars have lifetimes and evolutionary changes on the same timescales as we think exoplanetary systems evolve dynamically, so there should be great empirical results available here. And hot stars can have reasonable age determinations from rotation periods and post-main-sequence evolution. And we know how to make those age determinations.
And: The hot-star category includes large classes of time-variable, chemically peculiar stars. We now at Flatiron (thanks to Will Farr and Rodrigo Luger) have excellent technology for modeling spectral surface features and variability. These surface maps have the potential to be extremely interesting from a stellar model perspective.
Add to all this the fact that NASA TESS will deliver outrageous numbers of light curves, and spectroscopic facilities and surveys abound. We have a big, rich research program to execute.