A Nested Binary System

A Nested Binary System

For several years now, there has been considerable interest in circumbinary planets – that is to say, planets that orbit both stars in a binary system. They pose many interesting questions, such as, “How does their formation differ from planets in single-star systems?”, “What will happen to them when the stars evolve?”, and of course, “Could humans live there?” It was because of questions like these that the authors of today’s paper turned their telescopes on KIC 7177553.

A Cepheid Pulsator in an Eccentric Binary

A Cepheid Pulsator in an Eccentric Binary

Cepheids’ pulsing brightness variations happen because the star’s temperature and radius is changing, and they occupy a unique niche of stellar evolution. We can learn a lot about what is physically happening inside stars during this tumultuous time through close observations. Or rather, we could learn a lot about what happens inside Cepheid variable stars, if only we knew their masses.