A Five-year Spectroscopic and Photometric Campaign on the Prototypical alpha Cygni Variable and A-type Supergiant Star Deneb

N. D. Richardson, N. D. Morrison, E. E. Kryukova, S. J. Adelman

Georgia State University, University of Toledo, University of Toledo, The Citadel

Deneb is often considered the prototypical A-type supergiant, and is one of the visually most luminous stars in the Galaxy. A-type supergiants are potential extragalactic distance indicators, but the variability of these stars needs to be better characterized before this technique can be considered reliable. We analyzed 339 high resolution echelle spectra of Deneb obtained over the five-year span of 1997 through 2001 as well as 370 Stromgren photometric measurements obtained during the same time frame. Our spectroscopic analysis included dynamical spectra of the H-alpha profile, H-alpha equivalent widths, and radial velocities measured from Si II 6347, 6371. Time-series analysis reveals no obvious cyclic behavior that proceeds through multiple observing seasons, although we found a suspected 40 day period in two, non-consecutive observing seasons. Some correlations are found between photometric and radial velocity data sets, and suggest radial pulsations at two epochs. No correlation is found between the variability of the H-alpha profiles and that of the radial velocities or the photometry. Lucy (1976) found evidence that Deneb was a long period single-lined spectroscopic binary star, but our data set shows no evidence for radial velocity variations caused by a binary companion.

Reference: Astronomical Journal
Status: Manuscript has been accepted

Weblink: http://arxiv.org/abs/1009.5994

Comments: 49 pages, 9 figures, 5 tables

Email: richardson@chara.gsu.edu