EDP Sciences
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Volume 483, Number 3, June I 2008
Page(s) L43 - L46
Section Letters
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:200809738
Published online 16 April 2008

A&A 483, L43-L46 (2008)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:200809738


Oscillations in $\beta$ Ursae Minoris

Observations with SMEI
N. J. Tarrant, W. J. Chaplin, Y. Elsworth, S. A. Spreckley, and I. R. Stevens

School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
    e-mail: njt@bison.ph.bham.ac.uk

(Received 7 March 2008 / Accepted 9 April 2008)

Aims. From observations of the K4III star $\beta$ UMi we attempt to determine whether oscillations or any other form of variability is present.
Methods. A high-quality photometric time series of $\approx$1000 days in length obtained from the SMEI instrument on the Coriolis satellite is analysed. Various statistical tests were performed to determine the significance of features seen in the power density spectrum of the light curve.
Results. Two oscillations with frequencies 2.44 and 2.92 $\mu$Hz have been identified. We interpret these oscillations as consecutive overtones of an acoustic spectrum, implying a large frequency spacing of 0.48 $\mu$Hz. Using derived asteroseismic parameters in combination with known astrophysical parameters, we estimate the mass of $\beta$ UMi to be $1.3 \pm 0.3~{M}_{\odot}$. Peaks of the oscillations in the power density spectrum show width, implying that modes are stochastically excited and damped by convection. The mode lifetime is estimated at $18\pm9$ days.

Key words: stars: individual: $\beta$ UMi -- stars: oscillations -- stars: interiors -- stars: fundamental parameters

© ESO 2008