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Astron. Astrophys. 332, 605-609 (1998)

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The long-term behaviour of the Be star HD 163868 *

C. Sterken ** 1, P. Veen 2 and M. Burnet 3

1 University of Brussels (VUB), Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium
2 Leiden Observatory, Postbus 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
3 Observatoire de Genève, Sauverny, Switzerland

Received 21 August 1997 / Accepted 5 January 1998


In this paper we discuss the light variations of HD 163868 on the basis of all available photometric data originating from photometric monitoring during the last two decades. We suggest that one explanation of the on-and-off type variability can be a binary configuration with a compact companion and a period of the order of 850 days, though the observed effects could also be seen in the context of positive interference of NRPs. The bright stages are associated with strong reddening consistent with an increase in circumstellar material. We draw the attention to the similarity with cyclically-recurrent mild S Dor phases of LBVs.

Key words: stars: individual: HD 163868, HD 164152, HD 164270 – stars: emission-line, Be – stars: variables: other

* Based on observations obtained at the European Southern Observatory at La Silla, Chile (observing proposals 55D-0317, 56D-0249 and 57D-0133) and on data obtained with the Observatoire de Genève Swiss Telescope at La Silla
** Belgian Fund for Scientific Research (FWO)

Send offprint requests to: C. Sterken

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: March 23, 1998