Author(s): , , ,
Institution(s): 1. Caltech, 2. SETI, 3. University of Central Lancashire, 4. Villanova University
With the advent of high precision photometry from the Kepler satellite, a new layer of interesting and astounding astronomical objects has been revealed: heartbeat stars are an example of such objects. Heartbeat stars are eccentric ellipsoidal variables that undergo strong tidal interactions at the time of closest approach, when the stars are almost in contact. The consequence of these interactions is not only the deformation and mutual irradiation of the stars at periastron, but in many of these objects (~20%) we observe tidally induced pulsations. Tidally induced pulsations are pulsations driven by the tidal forcing of the binary star companion. They can be easily distinguished from other pulsations as they occur at precise multiples of the orbital frequency. Moreover, we have identified several objects where the tidally excited modes are undergoing resonance. This occurs when the tidal forces are in resonance with an eigenfrequency of one of the stellar components. In this paper we present KIC 8164262, a prime example of a heartbeat star with a resonantly excited mode. We provide the results of spectral modelling combined with extensive binary light and radial velocity curve modelling, generated using PHOEBE and MCMC. We further discuss why resonant locking, which has been theorised as the mechanism that keeps a system in resonance, is likely acting on this system. Finally, we describe the theoretical implications of tidally induced and resonantly excited modes, and their effects on binary star evolution.