Journal Article

Frequency analysis of Cepheids in the Large Magellanic Cloud: new types of classical Cepheid pulsators

P. Moskalik and Z. Kołaczkowski

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 394, issue 3, pages 1649-1666
Published in print April 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Frequency analysis of Cepheids in the Large Magellanic Cloud: new types of classical Cepheid pulsators

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We have performed a detailed systematic search for multiperiodicity in the Population I Cepheids of the Large Magellanic Cloud. In this process, we have identified for the first time several new types of Cepheid pulsational behaviour. We have found two triple-mode Cepheids pulsating simultaneously in the first three radial overtones. In 9 per cent of the first overtone (FO) Cepheids, we have detected weak but well-resolved secondary periodicities. They appear either very close to the primary pulsation frequency or at a much higher frequency with a characteristic period ratio of 0.60–0.64. In either case, the secondary periodicities must correspond to non-radial modes of oscillation. This result presents a major challenge to the theory of stellar pulsations, which predicts that such modes should not be excited in Cepheid variables. Non-radial modes have also been found in three of the fundamental first overtone (FU/FO) double-mode Cepheids, but no such oscillations have been detected in single-mode Cepheids pulsating in the FU mode.

In 19 per cent of double-mode Cepheids pulsating in the first two radial overtones (FO/SO type), we have detected a Blazhko-type periodic modulation of amplitudes and phases. Both modes are modulated with a common period, which is always longer than 700 d. Variations of the two amplitudes are anticorrelated, and maximum of one amplitude always coincides with minimum of the other. We have compared observations of modulated FO/SO Cepheids with predictions of theoretical models of the Blazhko effect, showing that the currently most popular models cannot account for properties of these stars. We propose that the Blazhko effect in FO/SO Cepheids can be explained by a non-stationary resonant interaction of one of the radial modes with another, perhaps non-radial, mode of oscillations.

Keywords: methods: data analysis; stars: oscillations; Cepheids; Magellanic Clouds

Journal Article.  8737 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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