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Very regular high-frequency pulsation modes in young intermediate-mass stars

Bedding, Timothy R. and Murphy, Simon J. and Hey, Daniel R. and Huber, Daniel and Li, Tanda and Smalley, Barry and Stello, Dennis and White, Timothy R. and Ball, Warrick H. and Chaplin, William J. and Colman, Isabel L. and Fuller, Jim and Gaidos, Eric and Harbeck, Daniel R. and Hermes, J. J. and Holdsworth, Daniel L. and Li, Gang and Li, Yaguang and Mann, Andrew W. and Reese, Daniel R. and Sekaran, Sanjay and Yu, Jie and Antoci, Victoria and Bergmann, Christoph and Brown, Timothy M. and Howard, Andrew W. and Ireland, Michael J. and Isaacson, Howard and Jenkins, Jon M. and Kjeldsen, Hans and McCully, Curtis and Rabus, Markus and Rains, Adam D. and Ricker, George R. and Tinney, Christopher G. and Vanderspek, Roland K. (2020) Very regular high-frequency pulsation modes in young intermediate-mass stars. Nature, 581 (7807). pp. 147-151. ISSN 0028-0836.

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[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Fig. 1: More examples of mode identifications in δ Scuti stars) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Fig. 2: Correlation between Δν and the frequency of the fundamental radial mode) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Fig. 3: Fourier amplitude spectra and high-resolution spectra of high-frequency δ Scuti stars) - Supplemental Material
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Asteroseismology probes the internal structures of stars by using their natural pulsation frequencies. It relies on identifying sequences of pulsation modes that can be compared with theoretical models, which has been done successfully for many classes of pulsators, including low-mass solar-type stars, red giants, high-mass stars4 and white dwarfs. However, a large group of pulsating stars of intermediate mass—the so-called δ Scuti stars—have rich pulsation spectra for which systematic mode identification has not hitherto been possible. This arises because only a seemingly random subset of possible modes are excited and because rapid rotation tends to spoil regular patterns. Here we report the detection of remarkably regular sequences of high-frequency pulsation modes in 60 intermediate-mass main-sequence stars, which enables definitive mode identification. The space motions of some of these stars indicate that they are members of known associations of young stars, as confirmed by modelling of their pulsation spectra.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access Paper ItemTESS and Kepler data
Bedding, Timothy R.0000-0001-5222-4661
Murphy, Simon J.0000-0002-5648-3107
Hey, Daniel R.0000-0003-3244-5357
Huber, Daniel0000-0001-8832-4488
Smalley, Barry0000-0002-3456-087X
Ball, Warrick H.0000-0002-4773-1017
Chaplin, William J.0000-0002-5714-8618
Fuller, Jim0000-0002-4544-0750
Harbeck, Daniel R.0000-0002-8590-007X
Hermes, J. J.0000-0001-5941-2286
Reese, Daniel R.0000-0003-4854-7550
Howard, Andrew W.0000-0001-8638-0320
Isaacson, Howard0000-0002-0531-1073
Jenkins, Jon M.0000-0002-4715-9460
Rains, Adam D.0000-0003-3486-853X
Additional Information:© 2020 Springer Nature Limited. Received 17 July 2019; Accepted 27 February 2020; Published 13 May 2020. We gratefully acknowledge the TESS and Kepler teams, whose efforts made these results possible. This research was partially conducted during the Exostar19 programme at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at UC Santa Barbara, which was supported in part by the National Science Foundation under grant no. NSF PHY-1748958. We thank colleagues in that programme, especially R. Townsend, for many stimulating discussions. We also thank A. Moya, A. G. Hernández, J. C. Suárez and Z. Guo for comments on the manuscript. We gratefully acknowledge support from the Australian Research Council (grant DE 180101104), and from the Danish National Research Foundation (grant DNRF106) through its funding for the Stellar Astrophysics Center (SAC). D.H. acknowledges support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (80NSSC18K1585, 80NSSC19K0379), and the National Science Foundation (AST-1717000). H.K. acknowledges support from the European Social Fund via the Lithuanian Science Council (LMTLT) grant 09.3.3-LMT-K-712-01-0103. Y.L. acknowledges support from the Joint Research Fund in Astronomy (U1631236) under cooperative agreement between the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) and Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). D.L.H. acknowledges support by the Science and Technology Facilities Council under grant ST/M000877/1. The research leading to these results has (partially) received funding from the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) under grant agreement G0H5416N (ERC Runner Up Project). This work makes use of observations from the LCOGT network. This work has also made use of data from the European Space Agency (ESA) mission Gaia (, processed by the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC, Some of the observations reported in this paper were obtained with the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) under programmes 2015-2-SCI-007, 2016-2-SCI-015 and 2017-2-SCI-010. The ISIS instrument is mounted on the WHT, which is operated on the island of La Palma by the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofsica de Canarias. The Veloce Rosso facility was funded by Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facility (LIEF) grants LE150100087 and LE160100014, and UNSW Research Infrastructure Scheme grant RG163088. C.G.T. and C.B. acknowledge the support of ARC Discovery grant DP170103491. V.A. was supported by a research grant (00028173) from VILLUM FONDEN. The authors wish to recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that the summit of Mauna Kea has always had within the indigenous Hawaiian community; we are most fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct observations from this mountain. We also acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which the Anglo-Australian Telescope stands, the Gamilaraay people, and pay our respects to elders past, present and emerging. Data availability: TESS and Kepler data are available from the MAST portal ( All other data are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request. Code availability: We have made use of standard data analysis tools in Python, as noted and referenced in Methods. Author Contributions: T.R.B., S.J.M., D. R. Hey, W.J.C., G.L., Y.L., I.L.C. and J.Y. analysed the photometric observations; T.L., D.S., W.H.B., T.R.W., D.R.R., J.F. and J.J.H. calculated and/or interpreted theoretical models; V.A. and H.K. coordinated the selection of the targets for the TESS observations; D.H., D. R. Harbeck, S.S., B.S., T.M.B., A.W.H., H.I., C.M., M.R., C.B., A.D.R., C.G.T, M.J.I. and D.L.H. obtained and/or analysed the spectroscopic observations; E.G. and A.W.M. identified objects that belong to moving groups; G.R.R., R.K.V. and J.M.J. were key architects of the TESS Mission. All authors reviewed the manuscript. The authors declare no competing interests.
Group:TAPIR, Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Australian Research CouncilDE180101104
Danish National Research FoundationDNRF106
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
European Social FundUNSPECIFIED
Lithuanian Science Council09.3.3-LMT-K-712-01-0103
Joint Research Fund in AstronomyU1631236
National Natural Science Foundation of ChinaUNSPECIFIED
Chinese Academy of SciencesUNSPECIFIED
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/M000877/1
Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (FWO)G0H5416N
Australian Research CouncilLE150100087
Australian Research CouncilLE160100014
University of New South WalesRG163088
Australian Research CouncilDP170103491
Subject Keywords:Stars; Stellar evolution; Time-domain astronomy
Issue or Number:7807
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200519-072401494
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Bedding, T.R., Murphy, S.J., Hey, D.R. et al. Very regular high-frequency pulsation modes in young intermediate-mass stars. Nature 581, 147–151 (2020).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:103295
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:19 May 2020 16:53
Last Modified:19 May 2020 16:53

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