Journal Article

Towards mode selection in δ Scuti stars: regularities in observed and theoretical frequency spectra

M. Breger, P. Lenz and A. A. Pamyatnykh

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 396, issue 1, pages 291-298
Published in print June 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online June 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.14330.x
Towards mode selection in δ Scuti stars: regularities in observed and theoretical frequency spectra

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Only a fraction of the theoretically predicted non-radial pulsation modes have so far been observed in δ Scuti stars. Nevertheless, the large number of frequencies detected in recent photometric studies of selected δ Scuti stars allow us to look for regularities in the frequency spacing of modes. Mode identifications are used to interpret these results.

Statistical analyses of several δ Scuti stars (FG Vir, 44 Tau, BL Cam and others) show that the photometrically observed frequencies are not distributed at random, but that the excited non-radial modes cluster around the frequencies of the radial modes over many radial orders.

The observed regularities can be partly explained by modes trapped in the stellar envelope. This mode selection mechanism was proposed by Dziembowski & Królikowska and shown to be efficient for ℓ= 1 modes. New pulsation model calculations confirm the observed regularities.

We present the sf diagram, which compares the average separation of the radial frequencies (s) with the frequency of the lowest frequency unstable radial mode (f). This provides an estimate for the log g value of the observed star, if we assume that the centres of the observed frequency clusters correspond to the radial mode frequencies. This assumption is confirmed by examples of well-studied δ Scuti variables in which radial modes were definitely identified.

Keywords: stars: oscillations; δ Scuti; stars: individual: 44 Tau; stars: individual: BL Cam; stars: individual: FG Vir

Journal Article.  5594 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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