The MACHO Project Large Magellanic Cloud Variable Star Inventory. XI. Frequency Analysis of the Fundamentalā€Mode RR Lyrae Stars Journal Articles uri icon

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  • We have frequency analyzed 6391 variables classified earlier as fundamental mode RR Lyrae (RR0) stars in the MACHO database on the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). The overwhelming majority of these variables have been proved to be indeed RR0 stars, whereas the remaining ones have fallen in one of the following categories: single- and double-mode Cepheids, binaries, first overtone and double-mode RR Lyrae stars and non-classified variables. Special attention has been paid to the Blazhko stars. We found altogether 731 Blazhko variables showing either a doublet or an equidistant triplet pattern at the main pulsation component in their frequency spectra. The incidence rate of the Blazhko variables among the RR0 stars in the LMC is 11.9%, which is three times higher than their rate among the first overtone RR Lyrae stars. From the frequency spectra we found that variables with larger modulation amplitudes at the higher frequency side of the main pulsation component are three times more frequent than the ones showing the opposite amplitude pattern. A search made for a modulation component with the Blazhko period in the average brightness of the individual variables showed the existence of such a modulation with an overall amplitude of ~0.006 mag. On the other hand, a similar search for quadruple modulation patterns around the main pulsation component have failed to clearly detect such components at the ~0.004 mag level. This means that the amplitudes of the quadruple components should be, on the average, at least ten times smaller than those of the triplet components. This finding and the existence of Blazhko variables with highly asymmetric modulation amplitudes not only question the validity of the magnetic oblique rotator model, but also puts stringent constraints on models based on mode coupling theories.


  • Alcock, C
  • Alves, DR
  • Becker, A
  • Bennett, D
  • Cook, KH
  • Drake, A
  • Freeman, K
  • Geha, M
  • Griest, K
  • Kovacs, G
  • Lehner, M
  • Marshall, S
  • Minniti, D
  • Nelson, C
  • Peterson, B
  • Popowski, P
  • Pratt, M
  • Quinn, P
  • Rodgers, A
  • Stubbs, C
  • Sutherland, W
  • Vandehei, T
  • Welch, Douglas L

publication date

  • November 20, 2003