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Revisiting CoRoT RR Lyrae stars: detection of period doubling and temporal variation of additional frequencies

We search for signs of period doubling in CoRoT RR Lyrae stars. The occurrence of this dynamical effect in modulated RR Lyrae stars might help us to gain more information about the mysterious Blazhko effect. The temporal variability of the additional frequencies in representatives of all subtypes of RR Lyrae stars is also investigated. We pre-process CoRoT light curves by applying trend and jump correction and outlier removal. Standard Fourier technique is used to analyze the frequency content of our targets and follow the time dependent phenomena. The most comprehensive collection of CoRoT RR Lyrae stars, including new discoveries is presented and analyzed. We found alternating maxima and in some cases half-integer frequencies in four CoRoT Blazhko RR Lyrae stars, as clear signs of the presence of period doubling. This reinforces that period doubling is an important ingredient to understand the Blazhko effect - a premise we derived previously from the Kepler RR Lyrae sample. As expected, period doubling is detectable only for short time intervals in most modulated RRab stars. Our results show that the temporal variability of the additional frequencies in all RR Lyrae sub-types is ubiquitous. The ephemeral nature and the highly variable amplitude of these variations suggest a complex underlying dynamics of and an intricate interplay between radial and possibly nonradial modes in RR Lyrae stars. The omnipresence of additional modes in all types of RR Lyrae - except in non-modulated RRab stars - implies that asteroseismology of these objects should be feasible in the near future.

Authors: R. Szabó, J. M. BenkÅ‘, M. Paparó, E. Chapellier, E. Poretti, A. Baglin, W. W. Weiss, K. Kolenberg, E. Guggenberger, J.-F. Le Borgne

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