Meredith L. Rawls

and 9 more

We combine _Kepler_ photometry with ground-based spectra to present a comprehensive dynamical model of the double red giant eclipsing binary KIC 9246715. While the two stars are very similar in mass ($M_1 = 2.171 \ M_{\odot}$, $M_2 = 2.149 \ M_{\odot}$) and radius ($R_1 = 8.37 \ R_{\odot}$, $R_2 = 8.30 \ R_{\odot}$), an asteroseismic analysis finds one main set of solar-like oscillations with unusually low-amplitude, wide modes. A second set of oscillations from the other star may exist, but this marginal detection is extremely faint. Because the two stars are nearly twins, KIC 9246715 is a difficult target for a precise test of the asteroseismic scaling relations, which yield M = 2.17 ± 0.14 M⊙ and R = 8.26 ± 0.18 R⊙. Both stars are consistent with the inferred asteroseismic properties, but we suspect the main oscillator is Star 2 because it is less active than Star 1. We find evidence for stellar activity and modest tidal forces acting over the 171-day eccentric orbit, which are likely responsible for the essential lack of solar-like oscillations in one star and weak oscillations in the other. Mixed modes indicate the main oscillating star is on the secondary red clump (a core-He-burning star), and stellar evolution modeling supports this with a coeval history for a pair of red clump stars. This system is a useful case study and paves the way for a detailed analysis of more red giants in eclipsing binaries, an important benchmark for asteroseismology.