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Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. Ser. 145, 283-292

Multiperiodicity in semiregular variables

II. Systematic amplitude variations

L.L. Kiss1 - K. Szatmáry1 - G. Szabó1 - J.A. Mattei2

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1 - Department of Experimental Physics and Astronomical Observatory,University of Szeged,Szeged, Dóm tér 9, H-6720, Hungary
2 - American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO), 25 BirchStreet, Cambridge, MA 02138-1205, U.S.A.

Received March 20; accepted June 6, 2000


We present a detailed lightcurve analysis for a sample of bright semiregular variables based on long-term (70-90 years) visual magnitude estimates carried out by amateur astronomers. Fundamental changes of the physical state (amplitude and/or frequency modulations, mode change and switching) are studied with the conventional Fourier and wavelet analysis.

The light curve of the carbon Mira Y Per showing a gradual amplitude decrease has been re-analysed after collecting and adding current data to earlier ones. The time scales of the sudden change and convection are compared and their similar order of magnitude is interpreted to be a possible hint for strong coupling between pulsation and convection. The periods of the biperiodic low-amplitude light curve and their ratios suggest a pulsation in the first and third overtone modes. An alternative explanation of the observed behaviour could be a period halving due to the presence of weak chaos.

Beside two examples of repetitive mode changes (AF Cyg and W Cyg) we report three stars with significant amplitude modulations (RY Leo, RX UMa and RY UMa). A simple geometric model of a rotationally induced amplitude modulation in RY UMa is outlined assuming low-order nonradial oscillation, while the observed behaviour of RX UMa and RY Leo is explained as a beating of two closely separated modes of pulsation. This phenomenon is detected unambiguously in V CVn, too. The period ratios found in these stars (1.03-1.10) suggest either high-order overtone or radial+non-radial oscillation.

Key words: stars: pulsation -- stars: AGB

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