Title

Detecting the Companions and Ellipsoidal Variations of RS CVn Primaries. II. ​o Draconis, A Candidate for Recent Low ­Mass Companion Ingestion

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2015

Publication Title

Astrophysical Journal

Volume Number

809

Issue Number

2

DOI

10.1088/0004-637X/809/2/159

Abstract

To measure the stellar and orbital properties of the metal-poor RS CVn binary o Draconis (o Dra), we directly detect the companion using interferometric observations obtained with the Michigan InfraRed Combiner at Georgia State University's Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy (CHARA) Array. The H-band flux ratio between the primary and secondary stars is the highest confirmed flux ratio (370 ± 40) observed with long-baseline optical interferometry. These detections are combined with radial velocity data of both the primary and secondary stars, including new data obtained with the Tillinghast Reflector Echelle Spectrograph on the Tillinghast Reflector at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory and the 2 m Tennessee State University Automated Spectroscopic Telescope at Fairborn Observatory. We determine an orbit from which we find model-independent masses and ages of the components (${M}_{A}=1.35\pm 0.05\ {M}_{\odot }$, ${M}_{B}=0.99\pm 0.02\ {M}_{\odot }$, system age $=\ 3.0\mp 0.5$ Gyr). An average of a 23-year light curve of o Dra from the Tennessee State University Automated Photometric Telescope folded over the orbital period newly reveals eclipses and the quasi-sinusoidal signature of ellipsoidal variations. The modeled light curve for our system's stellar and orbital parameters confirm these ellipsoidal variations due to the primary star partially filling its Roche lobe potential, suggesting most of the photometric variations are not due to stellar activity (starspots). Measuring gravity darkening from the average light curve gives a best-fit of $\beta =0.07\pm 0.03$, a value consistent with conventional theory for convective envelope stars. The primary star also exhibits an anomalously short rotation period, which, when taken with other system parameters, suggests the star likely engulfed a low-mass companion that had recently spun-up the star.

ISSN

0004-637X

Link Out URL

https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/809/2/159

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