On the Nature of the 41-Day Cycle of RR Lyrae
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Photoelectric observations obtained with the 24-in. telescope of the Konkoly Observatory from 1950 to 1972 show that the amplitudes of the changes of the 0.d57 light-curve in the course of the 41-day cycle undergo considerable cyclic variations. The length of the cycles varies between 3.8 and 4.8 yr. A new cycle always begins with a large phase-shift in the 41-day period; afterwards there is generally no further shift during one 4-yr cycle. Following Julia Balázs’ hypothesis, a tentative model is suggested: The 41-day cycle is the rotation period of the star. Magnetic fields concentrated in a limited longitude zone influence the 0.d57 pulsation in such a way that variations in light amplitude and phase arise as aspect effects of the 41-day rotation period. In this way, the 4-yr cycle can be interpreted as the magnetic cycle of the star. The location of the magnetic fields strongly differs in longitude from cycle to cycle causing the observed large phase shifts at the beginning of a new 4-yr cycle.
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