EXOTIME: Searching for planets around pulsating subdwarf B stars

Sonja Schuh, Roberto Silvotti, Ronny Lutz, Björn Loeptien, Elizabeth M. Green, Roy H. Østensen, Silvio Leccia, Seung Lee Kim, Gilles Fontaine, Stéphane Charpinet, Myriam Francœur, Suzanna Randall, Cristina Rodríguez-López, Valerie van Grootel, Andrew P. Odell, Margit Paparó, Zsófia Bognár, Péter Pápics, Thorsten Nagel, Benjamin BeeckMarkus Hundertmark, Thorsten Stahn, Stefan Dreizler, Frederic V. Hessman, Massimo Dall'Ora, Dario Mancini, Fausto Cortecchia, Serena Benatti, Riccardo Claudi, Rimvydas Janulis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


In 2007, a companion with planetary mass was found around the pulsating subdwarf B star V391 Pegasi with the timing method, indicating that a previously undiscovered population of substellar companions to apparently single subdwarf B stars might exist. Following this serendipitous discovery, the EXOTIME (http://www. na. astro. it/~silvotti/exotime/) monitoring program has been set up to follow the pulsations of a number of selected rapidly pulsating subdwarf B stars on time scales of several years with two immediate observational goals: (1)determine Ṗ of the pulsational periods P (2) search for signatures of substellar companions in O-C residuals due to periodic light travel time variations, which would be tracking the central star's companion-induced wobble around the centre of mass These sets of data should therefore, at the same time, on the one hand be useful to provide extra constraints for classical asteroseismological exercises from the Ṗ (comparison with "local" evolutionary models), and on the other hand allow one to investigate the preceding evolution of a target in terms of possible "binary" evolution by extending the otherwise unsuccessful search for companions to potentially very low masses. While timing pulsations may be an observationally expensive method to search for companions, it samples a different range of orbital parameters, inaccessible through orbital photometric effects or the radial velocity method: the latter favours massive close-in companions, whereas the timing method becomes increasingly more sensitive toward wider separations. In this paper we report on the status of the on-going observations and coherence analysis for two of the currently five targets, revealing very well-behaved pulsational characteristics in HS 0444+0458, while showing HS 0702+6043 to be more complex than previously thought.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-242
Number of pages12
JournalAstrophysics and Space Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010


  • Individual: HS 0444+0458
  • Individual: HS 0702+6043
  • Individual: HS 2201+2610
  • Stars: evolution
  • Stars: oscillations
  • Stars: planetary systems
  • Stars: subdwarfs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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