AAS: Kepler triple weirdness

Kepler announces discovery of transiting hierarchical triple.
Extremely weird, with bonus cute animation…


KOI-126 is an interesting object.
It is a massive star (F main sequence if I caught the numbers right) primary, with two low mass M-stars orbiting it.
The M-stars orbit each other in a very tight orbit, and their center of mass in turn orbits the primary, with both secondaries transiting the primary, providing very complex and fascinating light curves.

Exquisite.

No idea how such a system could come to be.
It is very compact, could even have planets further out, and very hard to see how it formed.
Think we have more to learn.

Paper is coming out now on Science Express, data is on MAST and Kepler archives,
team produced a gorgeous animation.
Have to dash to a meeting, will add links later…

see also livescience.com

Comments

  1. #1 andy
    January 11, 2011

    That’d be a fun one to do eclipse timing analysis on to attempt to detect outer planets… wonder if there are any circumtriple or even circumquadruple planets out there…

  2. #2 astro ranger
    January 24, 2011

    So where is this cute animation? Do we get to see it too?

  3. #3 andy
    January 25, 2011

    @astro ranger: Well there is a movie as part of the Supporting Online Material for the paper.

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