Journal. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Abstract. We present high-precision photometric light curves of five O-type stars observed with the refurbished Kepler satellite during its Campaign 0. For one of the stars, we also assembled high-resolution ground-based spectroscopy with the HERMES spectrograph attached to the 1.2 m Mercator telescope. The stars EPIC 202060097 (O9.5V) and EPIC 202060098 (O7V) exhibit monoperiodic variability due to rotational modulation with an amplitude of 5.6 and 9.3 mmag and a rotation period of 2.63 and 5.03 d, respectively. EPIC 202060091 (O9V) and EPIC 202060093 (O9V:pe) reveal variability at low frequency but the cause is unclear. EPIC 202060092 (O9V:p) is discovered to be a spectroscopic binary with at least one multiperiodic β Cep-type pulsator whose detected mode frequencies occur in the range [0.11, 6.99] d-1 and have amplitudes between 0.8 and 2.0 mmag. Its pulsation spectrum is shown to be fully compatible with the ones predicted by core-hydrogen burning O-star models. Despite the short duration of some 33 d and the limited data quality with a precision near 100 μmag of these first K2 data, the diversity of possible causes for O-star variability already revealed from campaigns of similar duration by the MOST and CoRoT satellites is confirmed with Kepler. We provide an overview of O-star space photometry and give arguments why future K2 monitoring during Campaigns 11 and 13 at short cadence, accompanied by time-resolved high-precision high-resolution spectroscopy, opens up the possibility of in-depth O-star seismology.