Astrophysics (Index)About

heartbeat star

(type of binary star that produces pulsed light)

A heartbeat star is a binary star showing a strong and very regular pulse in the luminosity, so a light curve is suggestive of the graph of a human heartbeat. The regular pulse stems from a highly eccentric orbit, such that the stars pass so close to each other that they are distended, thus offering more illumination from their surfaces, at least in the direction of Earth. They have shown up in data from the Kepler Telescope and Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, which monitor many stellar light curves.

(star type)
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