Asteroseismic effects in close binary stars

Ofer M. Springer*, Nir J. Shaviv

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Turbulent processes in the convective envelopes of the Sun and stars have been shown to be a source of internal acoustic excitations. In single stars, acoustic waves having frequencies below a certain cut-offfrequency propagate nearly adiabatically and are effectively trapped below the photosphere where they are internally reflected. This reflection essentially occurs where the local wavelength becomes comparable to the pressure scale height. In close binary stars, the sound speed is a constant on equipotentials, while the pressure scale height, which depends on the local effective gravity, varies on equipotentials and may be much greater near the inner Lagrangian point (L1). As a result, waves reaching the vicinity of L1 may propagate unimpeded into low-density regions, where they tend to dissipate quickly due to non-linear and radiative effects. We study the three-dimensional propagation and enhanced damping of such waves inside a set of close binary stellar models using a WKB approximation of the acoustic field. We find that thesewaves can have much higher damping rates in close binaries, compared to their non-binary counterparts. We also find that the relative distribution of acoustic energy density at the visible surface of close binaries develops a ring-like feature at specific acoustic frequencies and binary separations.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1869-1882
Number of pages14
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Asteroseismology
  • Binaries: close
  • Stars: oscillations
  • Stars: rotation


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