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Asteroseismic detection of invisible companions to intermediate-mass stars
Simon Murphy (SIfA, University of Sydney), Hiromoto Shibahashi (U. Tokyo), Tim Bedding (USyd), et al.
We present the latest results from the Phase Modulation method, which utilises the phases of stellar oscillations to detect changes in the path length between Earth and the observed star due to motion in a binary system. The companions detected with this method include planets, brown dwarfs, main-sequence stars with masses between 0.1 and 2.5 Msun, and possible compact objects such as neutron stars and black holes. Statistically robust distributions of the orbital parameters are discussed, exploring such phenomena as the circularisation of orbits as a function of orbital period. We will look at the most extreme systems found, some of which have eccentricities above 0.9, and discuss the implications for brown dwarf and planet formation given the distribution of mass functions of the systems.