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Asteroseismic fingerprints of stellar mergers

Rui, Nicholas Z. and Fuller, Jim (2021) Asteroseismic fingerprints of stellar mergers. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 508 (2). pp. 1618-1631. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1093/mnras/stab2528.

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Stellar mergers are important processes in stellar evolution, dynamics, and transient science. However, it is difficult to identify merger remnant stars because they cannot easily be distinguished from single stars based on their surface properties. We demonstrate that merger remnants can potentially be identified through asteroseismology of red giant stars using measurements of the gravity mode period spacing together with the asteroseismic mass. For mergers that occur after the formation of a degenerate core, remnant stars have overmassive envelopes relative to their cores, which is manifested asteroseismically by a g-mode period spacing smaller than expected for the star’s mass. Remnants of mergers that occur when the primary is still on the main sequence or whose total mass is less than ≈ 2 M_⊙ are much harder to distinguish from single stars. Using the red giant asteroseismic catalogues of Vrard, Mosser & Samadi and Yu et al., we identify 24 promising candidates for merger remnant stars. In some cases, merger remnants could also be detectable using only their temperature, luminosity, and asteroseismic mass, a technique that could be applied to a larger population of red giants without a reliable period spacing measurement.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper and selected output files for the MESA simulations
Rui, Nicholas Z.0000-0002-1884-3992
Fuller, Jim0000-0002-4544-0750
Additional Information:© 2021 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model ( Accepted 2021 September 3. Received 2021 September 1; in original form 2021 June 9. This work was inspired by discussions at the 2019 Scialog Meeting. We thank Dan Huber, Carl Melis, Sébastien Deheuvels, Fred Rasio, Jamie Lombardi, Tuguldur Sukhbold, and Pablo Marchant for insightful discussions and advice, both scientific and technical. NZR acknowledges support from the Dominic Orr Graduate Fellowship at Caltech. JF is thankful for support through an Innovator Grant from The Rose Hills Foundation, and the Sloan Foundation through grant FG-2018-10515. This research has made use of the SIMBAD data base, operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France. We thank the anonymous referee for their useful suggestions. DATA AVAILABILITY. Inlists and selected output files for the MESA simulations described in this work are available in an accompanying Zenodo repository (Rui & Fuller 2021).
Group:TAPIR, Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Dominic Orr Graduate FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Rose Hills FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationFG-2018-10515
Subject Keywords:asteroseismology, stars: evolution, stars: interiors, stars: oscillations
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20211215-622337000
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Nicholas Z Rui, Jim Fuller, Asteroseismic fingerprints of stellar mergers, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 508, Issue 2, December 2021, Pages 1618–1631,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:112479
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:16 Dec 2021 19:15
Last Modified:16 Dec 2021 19:15

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