The Kepler spacecraft has been monitoring the light from 150,000 stars in its primary quest to detect transiting exoplanets. Here, we report on the detection of an eclipsing stellar hierarchical triple, identified in the Kepler photometry. KOI-126 [A, (B, C)], is composed of a low-mass binary [masses MB = 0.2413 ± 0.0030 solar mass (M⊙), MC = 0.2127 ± 0.0026 M⊙; radii RB = 0.2543 ± 0.0014 solar radius (R⊙), RC = 0.2318 ± 0.0013 R⊙; orbital period P1 = 1.76713 ± 0.00019 days] on an eccentric orbit about a third star (mass MA = 1.347 ± 0.032 M⊙; radius RA = 2.0254 ± 0.0098 R⊙; period of orbit around the low-mass binary P2 = 33.9214 ± 0.0013 days; eccentricity of that orbit e2 = 0.3043 ± 0.0024). The low-mass pair probe the poorly sampled fully convective stellar domain offering a crucial benchmark for theoretical stellar models.
- Pub Date:
- February 2011
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
- To be published in Science on 2/4/2011. Announced at Jan. 2011 AAS meeting and made available on Science Express. Includes Supporting Online Material