The stable oscillations of pulsating stars can serve as accurate timepieces, which may be monitored for the influence of exoplanets. An external companion gravitationally tugs the host star, causing periodic changes in pulsation arrival times. This method is most sensitive to detecting substellar companions around the hottest pulsating stars, especially compact remnants like white dwarfs and hot subdwarfs, as well as δ Scuti variables (A stars). However, it is applicable to any pulsating star with sufficiently stable oscillations. Care must be taken to ensure that the changes in pulsation arrival times are not caused by intrinsic stellar variability; an external, light-travel-time effect from an exoplanet identically affects all pulsation modes. With more long-baseline photometric campaigns coming online, this method is yielding new detections of substellar companions.
Handbook of Exoplanets
- Pub Date:
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics
- 9 pages, 2 figures: Invited review to appear in 'Handbook of Exoplanets,' Springer Reference Works, edited by Hans J. Deeg and Juan Antonio Belmonte