Astrophys. J., 725, 1192-1201 (2010/December-2)
Rotationally modulated g-modes in the rapidly rotating δ Scuti star Rasalhague (α Ophiuchi).
MONNIER J.D., TOWNSEND R.H.D., CHE X., ZHAO M., KALLINGER T., MATTHEWS J. and MOFFAT A.F.J.
Abstract (from CDS):
Despite a century of remarkable progress in understanding stellar interiors, we know surprisingly little about the inner workings of stars spinning near their critical limit. New interferometric imaging of these so-called rapid rotators combined with breakthroughs in asteroseismology promise to lift this veil and probe the strongly latitude-dependent photospheric characteristics and even reveal the internal angular momentum distribution of these luminous objects. Here, we report the first high-precision photometry on the low-amplitude δ Scuti variable star Rasalhague (α Oph, A5IV, 2.18 M☉, ω/ω_c∼0.88) based on 30 continuous days of monitoring using the MOST satellite. We have identified 57±1 distinct pulsation modes above a stochastic granulation spectrum with a cutoff of ∼26 cycles/day. Remarkably, we have also discovered that the fast rotation period of 14.5 hr modulates low-frequency modes (1-10 day periods) that we identify as a rich family of g-modes (|m| up to 7). The spacing of the g-modes is surprisingly linear considering Coriolis forces are expected to strongly distort the mode spectrum, suggesting we are seeing prograde "equatorial Kelvin" waves (modes ℓ = m). We emphasize the unique aspects of Rasalhague motivating future detailed asteroseismic modeling–a source with a precisely measured parallax distance, photospheric oblateness, latitude temperature structure, and whose low-mass companion provides an astrometric orbit for precise mass determinations.
binaries: close - stars: individual (α Oph, Rasalhague) - stars: variables: delta Scuti - techniques: photometric
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