The contact binary VW Cephei revisited: surface activity and period variation

Mitnyan, Tibor and Bódi, Attila and Szalai, Tamás and Vinkó, József and Szatmáry, Károly and Borkovits, Tamás and Hegedüs, Tibor and Vida, Krisztián and Pál, András (2018) The contact binary VW Cephei revisited: surface activity and period variation. ASTRONOMY & ASTROPHYSICS, 612. A91. ISSN 0004-6361


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Context. Despite the fact that VW Cephei is one of the well-studied contact binaries in the literature, there is no fully consistent model available that can explain every observed property of this system. Aims. Our motivation is to obtain new spectra along with photometric measurements, to analyze what kind of changes may have happened in the system in the past two decades, and to propose new ideas for explaining them. Methods. For the period analysis we determined 10 new times of minima from our light curves, and constructed a new O$-$C diagram of the system. Radial velocities of the components were determined using the cross-correlation technique. The light curves and radial velocities were modelled simultaneously with the PHOEBE code. All observed spectra were compared to synthetic spectra and equivalent widths of the H$\alpha$ line were measured on their differences. Results. We have re-determined the physical parameters of the system according to our new light curve and spectral models. We confirm that the primary component is more active than the secondary, and there is a correlation between spottedness and the chromospheric activity. We propose that flip-flop phenomenon occurring on the primary component could be a possible explanation of the observed nature of the activity. To explain the period variation of VW Cep, we test two previously suggested scenarios: presence of a fourth body in the system, and the Applegate-mechanism caused by periodic magnetic activity. We conclude that although none of these mechanisms can be ruled out entirely, the available data suggest that mass transfer with a slowly decreasing rate gives the most likely explanation for the period variation of VW Cep.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics; Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics; starspots; binaries: close; Binaries: eclipsing; STARS: INDIVIDUAL: VW CEP; Activity; STARS
Subjects: Q Science / természettudomány > QB Astronomy, Astrophysics / csillagászat, asztrofizika
Depositing User: MTMT SWORD
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2018 19:06
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2018 19:06

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