KIC 9246715: The Double Red Giant Eclipsing Binary with Odd Oscillations

Authors. Meredith L. Rawls, Patrick Gaulme, Jean McKeever, Jason Jackiewicz, Jerome A. Orosz, Enrico Corsaro, Paul Beck, Benoît Mosser, David W. Latham, Christian A. Latham

Journal. The Astrophysical Journal

Abstract. We combine Kepler photometry with ground-based spectra to present a comprehensive dynamical model of the double red giant eclipsing binary KIC 9246715. While the two stars are very similar in mass ({M}1={2.171}-0.008+0.006 {M}ȯ , {M}2={2.149}-0.008+0.006 {M}ȯ ) and radius ({R}1={8.37}-0.07+0.03 {R}ȯ , {R}2={8.30}-0.03+0.04{R}ȯ ), an asteroseismic analysis finds one main set of solar-like oscillations with unusually low-amplitude, wide modes. A second set of oscillations from the other star may exist, but this marginal detection is extremely faint. Because the two stars are nearly twins, KIC 9246715 is a difficult target for a precise test of the asteroseismic scaling relations, which yield M = 2.17 ± 0.14 M and R = 8.26 ± 0.18 R. Both stars are consistent with the inferred asteroseismic properties, but we suspect the main oscillator is Star 2 because it is less active than Star 1. We find evidence for stellar activity and modest tidal forces acting over the 171 day eccentric orbit, which are likely responsible for the essential lack of solar-like oscillations in one star and weak oscillations in the other. Mixed modes indicate the main oscillating star is on the secondary red clump (a core-He-burning star), and stellar evolution modeling supports this with a coeval history for a pair of red clump stars. This system is a useful case study and paves the way for a detailed analysis of more red giants in eclipsing binaries, an important benchmark for asteroseismology.

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