Observations and asteroseismic analysis of the rapidly pulsating hot B subdwarf PG 0911+456

S. K. Randall, E. M. Green, V. Van Grootel, G. Fontaine, S. Charpinet, M. Lesser, P. Brassard, T. Sugimoto, P. Chayer, A. Fay, P. Wroblewski, M. Daniel, S. Story, T. Fitzgerald

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28 Scopus citations


Aims.The principal aim of this project is to determine the structural parameters of the rapidly pulsating subdwarf B star PG 0911+456 from asteroseismology. Our work forms part of an ongoing programme to constrain the internal characteristics of hot B subdwarfs with the long-term goal of differentiating between the various formation scenarios proposed for these objects. So far, a detailed asteroseismic interpretation has been carried out for 6 such pulsators, with apparent success. First comparisons with evolutionary theory look promising, however it is clear that more targets are needed for meaningful statistics to be derived.Methods.The observational pulsation periods of PG 0911+456 were extracted from rapid time-series photometry using standard Fourier analysis techniques. Supplemented by spectroscopic estimates of the star's mean atmospheric parameters, they were used as a basis for the "forward modelling" approach in asteroseismology. The latter culminates in the identification of one or more "optimal" models that can accurately reproduce the observed period spectrum. This naturally leads to an identification of the oscillations detected in terms of degree and radial order , and infers the structural parameters of the target.Results.The high S/N low- and medium resolution spectroscopy obtained led to a refinement of the atmospheric parameters for PG 0911+456, the derived values being = 31 940 220 K, log = 5.767 0.029, and log He/H = -2.548 0.058. From the photometry it was possible to extract 7 independent pulsation periods in the 150-200 s range with amplitudes between 0.05 and 0.8% of the star's mean brightness. There was no indication of fine frequency splitting over the ∼68-day time baseline, suggesting a very slow rotation rate. An asteroseismic search of parameter space identified several models that matched the observed properties of PG 0911+456 well, one of which was isolated as the "optimal" model on the basis of spectroscopic and mode identification considerations. All the observed pulsations are identified with low-order acoustic modes with degree indices = 0,1,2 and 4, and match the computed periods with a dispersion of only ∼0.26%, typical of the asteroseismological studies carried out to date for this type of star. The inferred structural parameters of PG 0911+456 are = 31 940 220 K (from spectroscopy), log = 5.777 0.002, = 0.39 0.01, log = -4.69 0.07, = 0.133 0.001 and = 16.4 0.8. We also derive the absolute magnitude = 4.82 0.04 and a distance = 930.3 27.4 pc..

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1317-1329
Number of pages13
JournalAstronomy and astrophysics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Stars: horizontal-branch
  • Stars: individual: PG 0911+456
  • Stars: interiors
  • Stars: oscillations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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