On the connection between almost periodic functions and Blazhko light curves

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3 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, it is shown that the mathematical form that most precisely describes the Blazhko RR Lyrae light curves is connected to almost periodic functions and not to the mathematics of modulation. That is, the Blazhko effect is more than a simple external modulation of the pulsation signal. The mathematical framework of almost periodic functions predicts a new observable effect: a shift of the Fourier harmonics of the main pulsation frequency from the exact harmonic position. This phenomenon is called the harmonic detuning effect (HDE). The published deviations of the harmonics of V445 Lyr are explained by this effect. The HDE is also found for V2178 Cyg, which is another Blazhko star observed by the Kepler space telescope. TheHDEis detectable only if the phase variation part of the Blazhko effect is of large amplitude and non-periodic enough and, additionally, if the time-span of the observed light curve is sufficiently long for obtaining precise frequencies. These three conditions restrict the number of stars showing detectable HDE and explain why this effect has not been discovered up to now.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-418
Number of pages7
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Methods: analytical
  • Methods: data analysis
  • Space vehicles
  • Stars: oscillations
  • Stars: variables: RR Lyrae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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