Context. Photometry of Procyon obtained by the MOST satellite in 2004 has been searched for p modes by several groups, with sometimes contradictory interpretations. Aims. We explore two possible factors that complicate the analysis and may lead to erroneous reports of p modes in these data. Methods. Two methods are used to illustrate the role of subtle instrumental effects in the photometry: time-frequency analysis, and a search for regularly spaced peaks in a Fourier spectrum based on the echelle diagramme approach. Results. We find no convincing evidence of a p-mode signal in the MOST Procyon data. We can account for an apparent excess of power close to the p-mode frequency range and signs of structure in an echelle diagramme in terms of instrumental effects. Key words. Stars: Procyon – Stars: oscillations 1
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