Kelly Hambleton: The Asteroseismology of Pulsating Stars in Binary Systems
Source: Monday physics colloquium
The Asteroseismology of Pulsating Stars in Binary Systems
Department of Astrophysics and Planetary Science
The field of asteroseismology is advancing at an astounding rate, thanks to precise photometry from satellites such as Kepler and CoRoT. For many stars it is now possible to obtain fundamental stellar masses and radii along with rotational profiles and ages based primarily on empirical formulæ. In complement, the field of binary star physics has long been viewed as the cornerstone of astrophysics, providing direct measurements of fundamental stellar parameters and giving insight into the evolution of stars. In this talk we examine what happens when you combine these two diverse fields. Specifically, we discuss the presence of pulsating components in eccentric binary stars, also known as heartbeat stars. In approximately 20% of all known heartbeat stars we have identified pulsations driven by the orbital motions of the stars: tidally excited pulsations. We further showcase a selection of objects with tidally excited pulsations and demonstrate how, when near resonance, tidally excited pulsations can alter the evolution of the binary star orbit.
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