The variability of Hα equivalent widths in Be stars

C. E. Jones, C. Tycner, A. D. Smith

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17 Scopus citations


Focusing on B-emission stars, we investigated a set of Hα equivalent widths (EWs) calculated from observed spectra acquired over a period of about four years from 2003 to 2007. During this time, changes in EW for our program stars were monitored. We have found a simple statistical method to quantify these changes in our observations. This statistical test, commonly called the F ratio, involves calculating the ratio of the external and internal error. We show that the application of this technique can be used to place bounds on the degree of variability of Be stars. This observational tool provides a quantitative way to find Be stars at particular stages of variability requiring relatively little observational data.

Original languageEnglish
Article number150
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011


  • circumstellar matter
  • stars: emission-line, Be
  • stars: variables: general


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