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A search for non-pulsating, chemically normal stars in the delta Scuti instability strip using Kepler data

Murphy, Simon J.; Bedding, Timothy R.; Niemczura, Ewa; Kurtz, Donald W.; Smalley, Barry

A search for non-pulsating, chemically normal stars in the delta Scuti instability strip using Kepler data Thumbnail


Simon J. Murphy

Timothy R. Bedding

Ewa Niemczura

Donald W. Kurtz


We identify stars in the d Sct instability strip that do not pulsate in p modes at the 50-µmag limit, using Kepler data. Spectral classification and abundance analyses from high-resolution spectroscopy allow us to identify chemically peculiar stars, in which the absence of pulsations is not surprising. The remaining stars are chemically normal, yet they are not d Sct stars. Their lack of observed p modes cannot be explained through any known mechanism. However, they are mostly distributed around the edges of the d Sct instability strip, which allows for the possibility that they actually lie outside the strip once the uncertainties are taken into account. We investigated the possibility that the non-pulsators inside the instability strip could be unresolved binary systems, having components that both lie outside the instability strip. If misinterpreted as single stars, we found that such binaries could generate temperature discrepancies of ~300 K – larger than the spectroscopic uncertainties, and fully consistent with the observations. After these considerations, there remains one chemically normal non-pulsator that lies in the middle of the instability strip. This star is a challenge to pulsation theory. However, its existence as the only known star of its kind indicates that such stars are rare. We conclude that the d Sct instability strip is pure, unless pulsation is shut down by diffusion or another mechanism, which could be interaction with a binary companion.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 23, 2014
Online Publication Date Jan 29, 2015
Publication Date Mar 11, 2015
Publicly Available Date May 26, 2023
Journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Print ISSN 0035-8711
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 447
Issue 4
Pages 3948 -3959
Keywords asteroseismology, stars chemically peculiar, stars oscillations, stars variables, delta Scuti
Publisher URL


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