Finding non-eclipsing binaries through pulsational phase modulation

García, RA, Murphy, SJ, Bedding, TR, Shibahashi, H, Kurtz, DW orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-1015-3268, Kjeldsen, H and Ballot, J (2015) Finding non-eclipsing binaries through pulsational phase modulation. EPJ Web of Conferences, 101 . 04002. ISSN 2100-014X

[thumbnail of version of Record]
PDF (version of Record) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


Official URL:


We present a method for finding binaries among pulsating stars that were observed by the Kepler Mission. We use entire four-year light curves to accurately mea- sure the frequencies of the strongest pulsation modes, then track the pulsation phases at those frequencies in 10-d segments. This produces a series of time-delay measurements in which binarity is apparent as a periodic modulation whose amplitude gives the projected light travel time across the orbit. Fourier analysis of this time-delay curve provides the pa- rameters of the orbit, including the period, eccentricity, angle of ascending node and time
of periastron passage. Differentiating the time-delay curve yields the full radial-velocity
curve directly from the Kepler photometry, without the need for spectroscopy. We show examples with delta Scuti stars having large numbers of pulsation modes, including one system in which both components of the binary are pulsating. The method is straightfor- ward to automate, thus radial velocity curves can be derived for hundreds of non-eclipsing binary stars from Kepler photometry alone.
This contribution is based largely upon the work by Murphy et al. [1], describing the phase-modulation method in detail.

Repository Staff Only: item control page