E. Plachy

Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapeŝto, Budapest, Hungary

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Publications (18)37 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We present a detailed nonlinear dynamical investigation of the Blazhko modulation of the Kepler RR Lyrae star V783 Cyg (KIC 5559631). We used different techniques to produce modulation curves, including the determination of amplitude maxima, the O-C diagram and the analytical function method. We were able to fit the modulation curves with chaotic signals with the global flow reconstruction method. However, when we investigated the effects of instrumental and data processing artefacts, we found that the chaotic nature of the modulation can not be proved because of the technical problems of data stitching, detrending and sparse sampling. Moreover, we found that a considerable part of the detected cycle-to-cycle variation of the modulation may originate from these effects. According to our results, even the four-year-long, unprecedented Kepler space photometry of V783 Cyg is too short for a reliable nonlinear dynamical analysis aiming at the detection of chaos from the Blazhko modulation. We estimate that two other stars could be suitable for similar analysis in the Kepler sample and in the future TESS and PLATO may provide additional candidates.
    09/2014; 445(3).
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    ABSTRACT: In order to benefit from the 4-year unprecedented precision of the Kepler data, we extracted light curves from the pixel photometric data of the Kepler space telescope for 15 Blazhko RR Lyrae stars. For collecting all the flux from a given target as accurately as possible, we defined tailor-made apertures for each star and quarter. In some cases the aperture finding process yielded sub-optimal result, because some flux have been lost even if the aperture contains all available pixels around the star. This fact stresses the importance of those methods that rely on the whole light curve instead of focusing on the extrema (O-C diagrams and other amplitude independent methods). We carried out detailed Fourier analysis of the light curves and the amplitude independent O-C diagram. We found 12 (80%) multiperiodically modulated stars in our sample. This ratio is much higher than previously found. Resonant coupling between radial modes, a recent theory to explain of the Blazhko effect, allows single, multiperiodic or even chaotic modulations. Among the stars with two modulations we found three stars (V355 Lyr, V366 Lyr and V450 Lyr) where one of the periods dominate in amplitude modulation, but the other period has larger frequency modulation amplitude. The ratio between the primary and secondary modulation periods is almost always very close to ratios of small integer numbers. It may indicate the effect of undiscovered resonances. Furthermore, we detected the excitation of the second radial overtone mode $f_2$ for three stars where this feature was formerly unknown. Our data set comprises the longest continuous, most precise observations of Blazhko RR Lyrae stars ever published. These data which is made publicly available will be unprecedented for years to come.
    The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 06/2014; 213(2). · 16.24 Impact Factor
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    L. Molnár, E. Plachy, R. Szabó
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    ABSTRACT: With the step-and-stare approach of the K2 mission, Kepler will be able to observe a large number of Cepheid an RR Lyrae stars. In this paper we describe the target selection efforts, and the first impressions based on the K2 two-wheel engineering test data. We also summarize the scientific goals that can be achieved by Kepler, including the understanding of the various additional modes and the Blazhko effect, population studies and the possibilities to observe extragalactic stars in selected campaigns.
    05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We characterized the time intervals between the interchanges of the alternating high- and low-amplitude extrema of three RV Tauri and three RR Lyrae stars.
    01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: As a response to the Kepler white paper call, we propose to keep Kepler pointing to its current field of view and continue observing thousands of large amplitude variables (Cepheid, RR Lyrae and delta Scuti stars among others) with high cadence in the Kep-Cont Mission. The degraded pointing stability will still allow observation of these stars with reasonable (better than millimag) precision. The Kep-Cont mission will allow studying the nonradial modes in Blazhko-modulated and first overtone RR Lyrae stars and will give a better view on the period jitter of the only Kepler Cepheid in the field. With continued continuous observation of the Kepler RR Lyrae sample we may get closer to the origin of the century-old Blazhko problem. Longer time-span may also uncover new dynamical effects like apsidal motion in eclipsing binaries. A continued mission will have the advantage of providing unprecedented, many-years-long homogeneous and continuous photometric data of the same targets. We investigate the pragmatic details of such a mission and find a number of advantages, especially the minimal need of reprogramming of the flight software. Another undeniable advantage of the current field of view is the completed, ongoing and planned ground-based follow-up observations and allocated telescope times focusing on the current field. We emphasize that while we propose this continuation as an independent mission, we can easily share slots with e.g. planetary mission with a strong belief that both (or more) communities can still benefit from Kepler's current capabilities.
    09/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: As a response to the white paper call, we propose to turn Kepler to the South Ecliptic Pole (SEP) and observe thousands of large amplitude variables for years with high cadence in the frame of the Kepler-SEP Mission. The degraded pointing stability will still allow observing these stars with reasonable (probably better than mmag) accuracy. Long-term continuous monitoring already proved to be extremely helpful to investigate several areas of stellar astrophysics. Space-based missions opened a new window to the dynamics of pulsation in several class of pulsating variable stars and facilitated detailed studies of eclipsing binaries. The main aim of this mission is to better understand the fascinating dynamics behind various stellar pulsational phenomena (resonances, mode coupling, chaos, mode selection) and interior physics (turbulent convection, opacities). This will also improve the applicability of these astrophysical tools for distance measurements, population and stellar evolution studies. We investigated the pragmatic details of such a mission and found a number of advantages: minimal reprogramming of the flight software, a favorable field of view, access to both galactic and LMC objects. However, the main advantage of the SEP field comes from the large sample of well classified targets, mainly through OGLE. Synergies and significant overlap (spatial, temporal and in brightness) with both ground- (OGLE, LSST) and space-based missions (GAIA, TESS) will greatly enhance the scientific value of the Kepler-SEP mission. GAIA will allow full characterization of the distance indicators. TESS will continuously monitor this field for at least one year, and together with the proposed mission provide long time series that cannot be obtained by other means. If Kepler-SEP program is successful, there is a possibility to place one of the so-called LSST "deep-drilling" fields in this region.
    09/2013;
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    E. Plachy, Z. Kolláth, L. Molnár
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    ABSTRACT: The recent precise photometric observations and successes of the modelling efforts transformed our picture of the pulsation of RR Lyrae stars. The discovery of additional frequencies and the period doubling phenomenon revealed that a significant interaction may occur between pulsational modes. The signs of irregularities were detected both in observed light curves and hydrodynamic calculations. In this paper we present the analysis of four peculiar hydrodynamic model solutions. All four solutions were found to be chaotic. The fractal (Lyapunov) dimensions of their attractors were calculated to be ~2.2. We also investigated possible resonances between the fundamental mode and the first overtone in the dynamical neighbourhood of these models. The most important is the 6:8 resonance that was also detected in the Kepler observations of RR Lyrae itself. These results reveal that the investigation of chaotic models is important in discovering and understanding resonances in RR Lyrae stars.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 06/2013; 433(4). · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present the results of a comparative period search on different time-scales and modelling of the ZZ Ceti (DAV) star GD 154. We determined six frequencies as normal modes and four rotational doublets around the ones having the largest amplitude. Two normal modes at 807.62 and 861.56 microHz have never been reported before. A rigorous test revealed remarkable intrinsic amplitude variability of frequencies at 839.14 and 861.56 microHz over a 50 d time-scale. In addition, the multimode pulsation changed to monoperiodic pulsation with an 843.15 microHz dominant frequency at the end of the observing run. The 2.76 microHz average rotational split detected led to a determination of a 2.1 d rotational period for GD 154. We searched for model solutions with effective temperatures and log g close to the spectroscopically determined ones. The best-fitting models resulting from the grid search have M_H between 6.3 x 10^-5 and 6.3 x 10^-7 M*, which means thicker hydrogen layer than the previous studies suggested. Our investigations show that mode trapping does not necessarily operate in all of the observed modes and the best candidate for a trapped mode is at 2484 microHz.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 04/2013; 432(1). · 5.52 Impact Factor
  • E. Plachy, Z. Kolláth
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    ABSTRACT: We performed a comparative dynamical investigation of chaotic test data using the global flow reconstruction method. We demonstrate that large-amplitude, long-term variations may have a disturbing effect in the analysis. The Empirical Mode Decomposition method (EMD) and the Fourier filtering were tested to remove the additional variations. Test results show that the elimination of these variations significantly increased the robustness of the reconstructions.
    Astronomische Nachrichten 03/2013; · 1.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The pulsating DA white dwarfs (ZZ Ceti stars) are $g$-mode non-radial pulsators. Asteroseismology provides strong constraints on their global parameters and internal structure. Since all the DA white dwarfs falling in the ZZ Ceti instability strip do pulsate, the internal structure derived from asteroseismology brings knowledge for the DA white dwarfs as a whole group. HS 0507+0434B is one of the ZZ Ceti stars which lies approximately in the middle of the instability strip for which we have undertaken a detailed asteroseismological study. We carried out multisite observation campaigns in 2007 and from December 2009 to January 2010. In total, 206 hours of photometric time-series have been collected. They have been analysed by means of Fourier analysis and simultaneous multi-frequency sine-wave fitting. In total, 39 frequency values are resolved including 6 triplets and a number of linear combinations. We identify the triplets as $\ell$=1 $g$-modes split by rotation. We derived the period spacing, the rotational splitting and the rotation rate. From the comparison of the observed periods with the theoretical periods of a series of models we estimate the fundamental parameters of the star: its total mass M$_{*}$/M$_{\odot}$ = 0.675, its luminosity L/L$_{\odot}$=3.5$\times 10^{-3}$, and its hydrogen mass fraction M$_{H}$/M$_{*}$= 10$^{-8.5}$.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 11/2012; 429(2). · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent theoretical and observational findings breathed new life into the field of RR Lyrae stars. The ever more precise and complete measurements of the space asteroseismology missions revealed new details, such as the period doubling and the presence of the additional modes in the stars. Theoretical work also flourished: period doubling was explained and an additional mode has been detected in hydrodynamic models as well. Although the most intriguing mystery, the Blazhko-effect has remained unsolved, new findings indicate that the convective cycle model can be effectively ruled out for short- and medium-period modulations. On the other hand, the plausibility of the radial resonance model is increasing, as more and more resonances are detected both in models and stars.
    Astronomische Nachrichten 10/2012; · 1.40 Impact Factor
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    E. Plachy, Z. Kolláth, L. Molnár
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    ABSTRACT: The period doubling phenomenon was recently discovered in RR Lyrae stars with the Kepler space telescope and has been theoretically explained by hydrodynamic calculations. However, peculiar solutions of the Florida-Budapest turbulent convective hydrodynamic code suggest that bifurcation cascade may evolve to chaos in these dynamical systems. We show that chaotic behaviour may be recovered from the radius variations of the model using the global flow reconstruction method. The fractal (Lyapunov) dimension of the underlying dynamical attractor is calculated to be ~2.2. Compared to the radius, the luminosity variations proved to be less suitable for such investigations due to their complexity. That suggest that even the continuous Kepler data would require transformation before conducting a similar analysis.
    02/2012;
  • Emese Plachy, Zoltán Kolláth
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    ABSTRACT: Irregular behaviour of pulsating variable stars may occur due to low dimensional chaos. To determine the quantitative properties of the dynamics in such systems, we apply a suitable time series analysis, the global flow reconstruction method. The robustness of the reconstruction can be tested through the resultant quantities, like Lyapunov dimension and Fourier frequencies. The latter is specially important as it is directly derivable from the observed light curves. We have performed tests using coupled Rossler oscillators to investigate the possible connection between those quantities. In this paper we present our test results.
    Journal of Physics Conference Series 06/2010; 218(1):012029.
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    ABSTRACT: It has been suggested that the detection of a wealth of very low amplitude modes in Delta Sct stars was only a matter of signal--to--noise ratio. Access to this treasure, impossible from the ground, is one of the scientific aims of the space mission CoRoT, developed and operated by CNES. This work presents the results obtained on HD 50844: the 140,016 datapoints allowed us to reach the level of 10^{-5} mag in the amplitude spectra. The frequency analysis of the CoRoT timeseries revealed hundreds of terms in the frequency range 0--30 d^{-1}. The initial guess that Delta Sct stars have a very rich frequency content is confirmed. The spectroscopic mode identification gives theoretical support since very high--degree modes (up to ell=14) are identified. We also prove that cancellation effects are not sufficient in removing the flux variations associated to these modes at the noise level of the CoRoT measurements. The ground--based observations indicate that HD 50844 is an evolved star that is slightly underabundant in heavy elements, located on the Terminal Age Main Sequence. The predominant term (f_1=6.92 d^{-1}) has been identified as the fundamental radial mode combining ground-based photometric and spectroscopic data. This work is based on observations made with ESO telescopes under the Large Programme LP 178.D-0361. Comment: Proceedings of the International Conference "Stellar Pulsation: Challenges for Theory and Observation", AIP, Vol.1170, p. 435
    10/2009;
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    ABSTRACT: Long period white dwarfs show changes in their frequency spectra from one observing season to another, i.e. their light-curves cannot be considered as stationary multiperiodic variations on long timescales. However, due to the complex frequency spectra of these stars and the narrow frequency spacing, it is still unknown, what the shortest time scale is, where real physical modulation exists. We present tests on artificial data, resembling the observations, using time-frequency distributions (TFDs), Fourier-analysis and the analytical signal method.
    Journal of Physics Conference Series 07/2009; 172(1):012080.
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    ABSTRACT: Context. Aims. This work presents the results obtained by CoRoT on HD 50844, the only $\delta$ Sct star observed in the CoRoT initial run (57.6 d). The aim of these CoRoT observations was to investigate and characterize for the first time the pulsational behaviour of a $\delta$ Sct star, when observed at a level of precision and with a much better duty cycle than from the ground.Methods. The 140 016 datapoints were analysed using independent approaches (SigSpec software and different iterative sine-wave fittings) and several checks performed (splitting of the timeseries in different subsets, investigation of the residual light curves and spectra). A level of 10$^{-5}$ mag was reached in the amplitude spectra of the CoRoT timeseries. The space monitoring was complemented by ground-based high-resolution spectroscopy, which allowed the mode identification of 30 terms. Results. The frequency analysis of the CoRoT timeseries revealed hundreds of terms in the frequency range 0–30 d$^{-1}$. All the cross-checks confirmed this new result. The initial guess that $\delta$ Sct stars have a very rich frequency content is confirmed. The spectroscopic mode identification gives theoretical support since very high-degree modes (up to $\ell=14$) are identified. We also prove that cancellation effects are not sufficient in removing the flux variations associated to these modes at the noise level of the CoRoT measurements. The ground-based observations indicate that HD 50844 is an evolved star that is slightly underabundant in heavy elements, located on the Terminal Age Main Sequence. Probably due to this unfavourable evolutionary status, no clear regular distribution is observed in the frequency set. The predominant term ($f_1=6.92$ d$^{-1}$) has been identified as the fundamental radial mode combining ground-based photometric and spectroscopic data.
Conclusions.
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/200912039. 01/2009;
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    Communications in Asteroseismology 05/2008; 154:59-69.
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    ABSTRACT: Preliminary results on KUV 02464+3239, a pulsating DA white dwarf are presented. Located near the red edge of the DAV instability strip, KUV 02464+3239 shows large amplitude and long period pulsation modes. Up to now only one mode was known from a 50-minute-long light curve. Our more extended observations allowed the identification of three additional frequencies. The presence of previously known harmonics were confirmed and weak subharmonics are also noticeable at some parts of the light curve. This suggests the dominance of nonlinear pulsation effects from time to time. Comment: 3 pages, 3 eps figures; has been accepted for publication in Astronomische Nachrichten (Vol. 8, 2007), proceedings of the British-Hungarian-French N+N+N Workshop for Young Researchers
    Astronomische Nachrichten 08/2007; · 1.40 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

37 Citations
37.00 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2014
    • Hungarian Academy of Sciences
      • MTA Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences
      Budapeŝto, Budapest, Hungary
  • 2009–2014
    • Konkoly Observatory
      Budapeŝto, Budapest, Hungary
  • 2007–2013
    • Eötvös Loránd University
      • • Department of Astronomy
      • • Faculty of Science
      Budapeŝto, Budapest, Hungary