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Time-Series Spectroscopy of ζ Ophiuchi

  • A.H.N. Reid (a1), C.T. Bolton (a1), R.A. Crowe (a1), M.S. Fieldus (a1), A.W. Fullerton (a1), D.R. Gies (a1), I.D. Howarth (a1), D. McDavid (a1), R.K. Prinja (a1) and K.C. Smith (a1)...

Abstract

We have undertaken a multi-site, multi-wavelength observing campaign on the archetypal O stars ζ Puppis (O4 I(n)f) and ζ Ophiuchi (O9.5 V). Both stars are well known for the strength of their line profile variations (lpv's), and represent extremes of O spectral type and luminosity class. UV time-series spectroscopy of ζ Pup and ζ Oph is described by Prinja et al. (Ap.J. 1992, 390, 266), and Howarth et al. (Ap.J. 1992, submitted) respectively. The optical spectroscopic results of ζ Oph are reported by Reid et al. (1992, ApJ submitted), of which some of the principal results are given here.

During late April, and early May, 1989, we obtained high-resolution, high signal-to-noise optical spectra of the late O-type, rapid rotator ζ Oph. Time-series analysis, using the CLEAN algorithm, has shown that the characteristic lpv seen in HeI λ447lÅ, Si III λλ4552, 4567, 4575Å, and MgII λ448lÅ can be satisfactorily represented as a set of 4 sinusoids. No substantial variation is observed in HeII λ4541, or NIII λ4517Å. We attribute this behaviour to a combination of equatorial gravity-darkening and a latitudinally-confined origin for the lpv.

The phase changes over the line profiles indicate repetitive patterns of axial symmetry, rotating prograde in the co-rotating frame of the star. The periods are 3.339 hours (-m = 4), 2.435 hours (-m = 5 or -m = 6), 1.859 hours (-m = 9 ± 1), and either 1.366 hours or 1.292 hours (-m = 11 ± 1); -m represents the spatial frequency around the stellar equator. The first three periods confirm those found at earlier epochs, and we conclude that some lpv characteristics are reproduced over at least a 2-year interval.

Since no commensurate superperiod (|m|P) exists, and since the super-periods are less than our estimated minimum rotation period for ζ Oph (> 18 hours), we reject a rotational modulation origin for the lpv and conclude that the star is undergoing multi-mode, sectorial, non-radial pulsations.

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