Nonradial and radial period changes of the δ Scuti star 4 CVn
II. Systematic behavior over 40 years
1 Institut für Astrophysik der Universität Wien, Türkenschanzstr. 17, 1180 Wien, Austria
2 Department of Astronomy, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712, USA
3 N. Copernicus Astronomical Center, Bartycka 18, 00-716 Warsaw, Poland
Received: 27 September 2016
Accepted: 12 December 2016
Aims. Radial and nonradial pulsators on and near the main sequence show period and amplitude changes that are too large to be the product of stellar evolution. The multiperiodic δ Sct stars are well suited to study this, as the period changes of different modes excited in the same star can be compared. This requires a very large amount of photometric data covering years and decades as well as mode identifications.
Methods. We have examined over 800 nights of high-precision photometry of the multiperiodic pulsator 4 CVn obtained from 1966 through 2012. Because most of the data were obtained in adjacent observing seasons, it is possible to derive very accurate period values for a number of the excited pulsation modes and to study their systematic changes from 1974 to 2012.
Results. Most pulsation modes show systematic significant period and amplitude changes on a timescale of decades. For the well-studied modes, around 1986 a general reversal of the directions of both the positive and negative period changes occurred. Furthermore, the period changes between the different modes are strongly correlated, although they differ in size and sign. For the modes with known values of the spherical degree and azimuthal order, we find a correlation between the direction of the period changes and the identified azimuthal order, m. The associated amplitude changes generally have similar timescales of years or decades, but show little systematic or correlated behavior from mode to mode.
Conclusions. A natural explanation for the opposite behavior of the prograde and retrograde modes is that their period changes are driven by a changing rotation profile. The changes in the rotation profile could in turn be driven by processes, perhaps the pulsations themselves, that redistribute angular momentum within the star. In general, different modes have different rotation kernels, so this will produce period shifts of varying magnitude for different modes.
Key words: stars: variables: δ Scuti / stars: oscillations / stars: individual: 4 CVn / techniques: photometric
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