TRIPLE-STAR CANDIDATES AMONG THE KEPLER BINARIES
Author(s)Deck, Katherine M.; Borkovits, T.; Carter, Joshua Adam; El Mellah, I.; Sanchis-Ojeda, R.; Kalomeni, B.; Rappaport, Saul A.; Levine, Alan M.; ... Show more Show less
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We present the results of a search through the photometric database of Kepler eclipsing binaries looking for evidence of hierarchical triple-star systems. The presence of a third star orbiting the binary can be inferred from eclipse timing variations. We apply a simple algorithm in an automated determination of the eclipse times for all 2157 binaries. The "calculated" eclipse times, based on a constant period model, are subtracted from those observed. The resulting O – C (observed minus calculated times) curves are then visually inspected for periodicities in order to find triple-star candidates. After eliminating false positives due to the beat frequency between the ~[1 over 2] hr Kepler cadence and the binary period, 39 candidate triple systems were identified. The periodic O – C curves for these candidates were then fit for contributions from both the classical Roemer delay and so-called physical delay, in an attempt to extract a number of the system parameters of the triple. We discuss the limitations of the information that can be inferred from these O – C curves without further supplemental input, e.g., ground-based spectroscopy. Based on the limited range of orbital periods for the triple-star systems to which this search is sensitive, we can extrapolate to estimate that at least 20% of all close binaries have tertiary companions.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Physics; MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research
Rappaport, S., K. Deck, A. Levine, T. Borkovits, J. Carter, I. El Mellah, R. Sanchis-Ojeda, and B. Kalomeni. “ TRIPLE-STAR CANDIDATES AMONG THE KEPLER BINARIES .” The Astrophysical Journal 768, no. 1 (April 12, 2013): 33. © 2013 The American Astronomical Society
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