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Period Hunting in Long-Term Light Curves of Cataclysmic Variables


Hayley R. Richman

Astronomy Department, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027


Received: December 5, 1991




Recent interest in long periods which may be present in cataclysmic variables has been motivated principally by the idea that solar-like magnetic cycles might be important.  For the brighter members of the class, AAVSO light curves are an ideal resource for testing the presence of such periods.  The detection limits are much more sensitive than could be acheived by any feasible photographic or photoelectric means.  But, artifacts are found to be present in the Fourier spectra of the light curves of novae, caused by the lunar synodic period, the lunar sidereal period, the Earth's rotation period, and the round-off errors made by observers in recording the time.


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