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Published September 10, 2017 | Submitted + Published
Journal Article Open

The Pseudosynchronization of Binary Stars Undergoing Strong Tidal Interactions


Eccentric binaries known as heartbeat stars experience strong dynamical tides as the stars pass through periastron, providing a laboratory to study tidal interactions. We measure the rotation periods of 24 heartbeat systems, using the Kepler light curves to identify rotation peaks in the Fourier transform. Where possible, we compare the rotation period to the pseudosynchronization period derived by Hut. Few of our heartbeat stars are pseudosynchronized with the orbital period. For four systems, we were able to identify two sets of rotation peaks, which we interpret as the rotation from both stars in the binary. Most stars in our sample have rotation rates larger than the pseudosynchronization period while a single target rotates much faster than this rate. The majority of the systems have a rotation period that is approximately 3/2 times the pseudosynchronization period, suggesting that other physical mechanisms strongly influence the star's evolution.

Additional Information

© 2017 American Astronomical Society. Received 2017 June 9. Accepted 2017 August 7. Published 2017 September 12.

Attached Files

Published - Zimmerman_2017_ApJ_846_147.pdf

Submitted - 1706.05434.pdf


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August 21, 2023
October 17, 2023