We present differential Hα and Hβ photometry of the very bright RS CVn-binary Alpha Aurigae (Capella) obtained with the Vienna automatic photoelectric telescope in the years 1996 through 2000. Low-level photometric variations of up to 0m.04 are detected in Hα. A multifrequency analysis suggests two real periods of 106 +/- 3 days and 8.64 +/- 0.09 days, that we interpret to be the rotation periods of the cool and the hot component of the Capella binary, respectively. These periods confirm that the hotter component of Capella rotates asynchronously, while the cooler component appears to be synchronized with the binary motion. The combined Hα data possibly contains an additional period of 80.4 days that we, however, believe is either spurious and was introduced due to seasonal amplitude variations or stems from a time-variable circumbinary mass flow. The rotational periods result in stellar radii of 14.3 +/- 4.6 Rsun and 8.5 +/- 0.5 Rsun for the cool and hot component, respectively, and are in good agreement with previously published radii based on radiometric and interferometric techniques. The long-period eclipsing binary Aurigae served as our check star, and we detected complex light variations outside of eclipse of up to 0m.15 in Hα and 0m.20 in Hβ. Our frequency analysis suggests the existence of at least three significant periods of 132, 89, and 73 days. One of our comparison stars (HD 33167, F5V) was discovered to be a very-low amplitude variable with a period of 2.6360 +/- 0.0055 days.
- Pub Date:
- March 2001