Stellar modelling of Spica, a high-mass spectroscopic binary with a beta Cep variable primary component

Tkachenko, A. and Matthews, J.M. and Aerts, C. and Pavlovski, Krešimir and Papics, P.I. and Zwintz, K. and Cameron, C. and Walker, G.A.H. and Kuschnig, R. and Degroote, P. and Debosscher, J. and Moravveji, E. and Kolbas, Vladimir and Guenther, D.B. and Moffat, A.F.J. and Rowe, J.F. and Rucinski, S.M. and Sasselov, D. and Weiss, W.W. (2016) Stellar modelling of Spica, a high-mass spectroscopic binary with a beta Cep variable primary component. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 458 (2). pp. 1964-1976. ISSN 0035-8711

PDF - Published Version
Language: English

Download (1MB) | Preview


Binary stars provide a valuable test of stellar structure and evolution, because the masses of the individual stellar components can be derived with high accuracy and in a model-independent way. In this work, we study Spica, an eccentric double-lined spectroscopic binary system with a beta Cep type variable primary component. We use state-of-the-art modelling tools to determine accurate orbital elements of the binary system and atmospheric parameters of both stellar components. We interpret the short-period variability intrinsic to the primary component, detected on top of the orbital motion both in the photometric and spectroscopic data. The non-local thermodynamic equilibrium based spectrum analysis reveals two stars of similar atmospheric chemical composition consistent with the present-day cosmic abundance standard. The masses and radii of the stars are found to be 11.43±1.15 Msun and 7.21±0.75 Msun, and 7.47±0.54 Rsun and 3.74±0.53 Rsun for the primary and secondary, respectively. We find the primary component to pulsate in three independent modes, of which one is identified as a radial mode, while the two others are found to be non-radial, low degree l modes. The frequency of one of these modes is an exact multiple of the orbital frequency, and the l=m=2 mode identification suggests a tidal nature for this particular mode. We find a very good agreement between the derived dynamical and evolutionary masses for the Spica system to within the observational errors of the measured masses. The age of the system is estimated to be 12.5±1 Myr.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: binary stars ; spectroscopic binary ; stellar oscillations ; variable stars
Date: 2 February 2016
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Physics
Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Received: 29 June 2015. Revision Received: 27 January 2016. Accepted: 28 January 2016. Published: 02 February 2016.
Divisions: Faculty of Science > Department of Physics
Project code: IP-2014-09-8656
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Depositing User: Krešimir Pavlovski
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2017 15:24
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2017 15:24

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item