Journal Article

The unusually large population of Blazhko variables in the globular cluster NGC 5024 (M53)*

A. Arellano Ferro, D. M. Bramich, R. Figuera Jaimes, Sunetra Giridhar and K. Kuppuswamy

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 420, issue 2, pages 1333-1346
Published in print February 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online January 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
The unusually large population of Blazhko variables in the globular cluster NGC 5024 (M53)*

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We report the discovery of amplitude and phase modulations typical of the Blazhko effect in 22 RRc and nine RRab type RR Lyrae stars in NGC 5024 (M53). This brings the confirmed Blazhko variables in this cluster to 23 RRc and 11 RRab stars, which represent 66 and 37 per cent of the total population of RRc and RRab stars in the cluster, respectively, making NGC 5024 the globular cluster with the largest presently known population of Blazhko RRc stars. We place a lower limit of 52 per cent on the overall incidence rate of the Blazhko effect among the RR Lyrae population in this cluster. New data have allowed us to refine the pulsation periods. The limitations imposed by the time span and sampling of our data prevent reliable estimations of the modulation periods. The amplitudes of the modulations range between 0.02 and 0.39 mag. The RRab and RRc are neatly separated in the colour–magnitude diagram, and the RRc Blazhko variables are on average redder than their stable counterparts; these two facts may support the hypothesis that the horizontal branch (HB) evolution in this cluster is towards the red and that the Blazhko modulations in the RRc stars are connected with the pulsation mode switch.

Keywords: stars: variables: RR Lyrae; globular clusters: individual: NGC 5024

Journal Article.  7097 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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