Beyond the Kepler/K2 bright limit: variability in the seven brightest members of the Pleiades

White, T. R. and Pope, B. J. S. and Antoci, V. and Papics, P. I. and Aerts, C. and Gies, D. R. and Gordon, K. and Huber, D. and Schaefer, G. H. and Aigrain, S. and Albrecht, S. and Barclay, T. and Barentsen, G. and Beck, P. G. and Bedding, T. R. and Andersen, M. Fredslund and Grundahl, F. and Howell, S. B. and Ireland, M. J. and Murphy, S. J. and Nielsen, M. B. and Aguirre, V. Silva and Tuthill, P. G. (2017) Beyond the Kepler/K2 bright limit: variability in the seven brightest members of the Pleiades. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 471 (3). pp. 2882-2901. ISSN 0035-8711

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Abstract

The most powerful tests of stellar models come from the brightest stars in the sky, for which complementary techniques, such as astrometry, asteroseismology, spectroscopy and interferometry, can be combined. The K2 mission is providing a unique opportunity to obtain high-precision photometric time series for bright stars along the ecliptic. However, bright targets require a large number of pixels to capture the entirety of the stellar flux, and CCD saturation, as well as restrictions on data storage and bandwidth, limit the number and brightness of stars that can be observed. To overcome this, we have developed a new photometric technique, which we call halo photometry, to observe very bright stars using a limited number of pixels. Halo photometry is simple, fast and does not require extensive pixel allocation, and will allow us to use K2 and other photometric missions, such as TESS, to observe very bright stars for asteroseismology and to search for transiting exoplanets. We apply this method to the seven brightest stars in the Pleiades open cluster. Each star exhibits variability; six of the stars show what are most likely slowly pulsating B-star pulsations, with amplitudes ranging from 20 to 2000 ppm. For the star Maia, we demonstrate the utility of combining K2 photometry with spectroscopy and interferometry to show that it is not a ‘Maia variable’, and to establish that its variability is caused by rotational modulation of a large chemical spot on a 10 d time-scale.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: File reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/author.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2022 00:06
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2022 03:46
Uncontrolled Keywords: Asteroseismology; Open clusters and associations: individual: Pleiades; Stars: early type; Stars: variables: general; Techniques: photometric; Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
Fields of Research (2020): 51 PHYSICAL SCIENCES > 5101 Astronomical sciences > 510109 Stellar astronomy and planetary systems
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280120 Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stx1050
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/47968

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