Kronos and Krios: Evidence for Accretion of a Massive, Rocky Planetary System in a Comoving Pair of Solar-type Stars

Semyeong Oh, Adrian M. Price-Whelan, John M. Brewer, David W. Hogg, David N. Spergel, Justin Myles

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58 Scopus citations


We report and discuss the discovery of a significant difference in the chemical abundances of a comoving pair of bright solar-type stars, HD 240430 and HD 240429. The two stars have an estimated 3D separation of ≈0.6 pc (≈0.01 pc projected) at a distance of r ≈ 100 pc with nearly identical 3D velocities, as inferred from Gaia TGAS parallaxes and proper motions, and high-precision radial velocity measurements. Stellar parameters determined from high-resolution spectra obtained with the High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer (HIRES) at the Keck Observatory indicate that the two stars are ∼4 Gyr old. The more metal-rich of the two, HD 240430, shows an enhancement of refractory (TC > 1200 K) elements by ≈0.2 dex and a marginal enhancement of (moderately) volatile elements (TC < 1200 K; C, N, O, Na, and Mn). This is the largest metallicity difference found in a wide binary pair to date. Additionally, HD 240430 shows an anomalously high surface lithium abundance (A(Li) = 2.75), higher than its cooler companion by 0.5 dex. The proximity in phase-space and ages between the two stars suggests that they formed together with the same composition, which is at odds with the observed differences in metallicity and abundance patterns. We therefore suggest that the star HD 240430, "Kronos," accreted 15 M of rocky material after birth, selectively enhancing the refractory elements as well as lithium in its surface and convective envelope.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number138
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 20 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • binaries: visual
  • planet-star interactions
  • stars: abundances
  • stars: formation
  • stars: individual (HD 240430, HD 240429)


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