Periodicity in the light curve of P Cygni–Indication for a binary companion?

Amir M. Michaelis, Amit Kashi, Nino Kochiashvili

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9 Scopus citations


We use observations of the Luminous Blue Variable (LBV) P Cygni spanning seven decades, along with signal processing methods, to identify a periodicity in the stellar luminosity. We find a distinct period of 4.7 ± 0.3 years together with shorter periods. The periodicity is a possible indication of a binary companion passing in an eclipse-like event from the dense LBV wind, and if so it is the first observational indication that P Cygni is a binary system. This may support models that contribute giant LBV eruptions to interaction with a binary companion. We discuss other interpretations for the periodicity as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-34
Number of pages6
JournalNew Astronomy
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • (Stars:) binaries
  • General—stars
  • Individual (P Cyg)
  • Massive—stars


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