Multi-Longitude Observation Campaign of KV Cancri: an RR Lyrae Star with Irregular Blazhko Modulations


Pierre de Ponthière
15 Rue Pré Mathy, Lesve, Profondeville 5170, Belgium

Michel Bonnardeau
MBCAA Observatory, Le Pavillon, Lalley 38930, France

Franz-Josef (Josch) Hambsch
12 Oude Bleken, Mol, 2400, Belgium

Tom Krajci
P.O. Box 1351, Cloudcroft, NM 88317

Kenneth Menzies
318A Potter Road, Framingham, MA 01701

Richard Sabo
2336 Trailcrest Drive, Bozeman, MT 59718

Received September 9, 2013; revised September 30, 2013; accepted October 3, 2013


We present the results of multi-longitude observations of KV Cancri, an RR Lyrae star showing an irregular Blazhko effect. With a pulsation period of 0.50208 day, the times of light curve maxima are delayed by 6 minutes per day. This daily delay regularly leads to long periods of time without maximum light curve observations for a given site. To cope with this observing time window problem, we have organized a multi-longitude observation campaign including a telescope of the AAVSONet. From the observed light curves, 92 pulsation maxima have been measured covering about six Blazhko periods. The Fourier analysis of magnitudes at maximum light has revealed a main Blazhko period of 77.6 days and also a secondary period of 40.5 days. A Fourier analysis of (O–C) values did not show the secondary Blazhko period. The frequency spectrum of the complete light curve, from a Fourier analysis and successive pre-whitening with period04, has shown triplet structures around the two Blazhko modulation frequencies but with slightly different periods (77.8 and 42.4 days). The second Blazhko frequency is statistically not a harmonic of the main Blazhko frequency. Besides the two Blazhko modulations KV Cnc presents other particularities like irregularities from Blazhko cycle to cycle and very fast magnitude variations which can reach a maximum of 2.5 magnitudes per hour over a period of 15 minutes. This campaign shows that regular observations by amateur astronomers remain important. Indeed, such a detailed characterization of the Blazhko effect could not be obtained from large-scale surveys, as cooperative long time-series observations are needed.