Vol 12, No 4

A new photometric study of the triple star system EF Draconis

Yuan-Gui Yang


Abstract We present new charge-coupled device (CCD) photometry for the triple star EF Draconis, obtained in 2009 and 2011. Using the updated Wilson-Devinney program, the photometric solutions were deduced from two sets of light curves. The results indicate that EF Dra is an A-type W UMa binary with a contact degree of f = 46.7%(±0.6%) and a third light of l3≈ 1.5%. Through analyzing the O − C curve, it is found that the orbital period shows a long-time increase with a light-time orbit. The period, semi-amplitude and eccentricity of the third body are Pmod = 17.20(±0.18) yr, A = 0.0039d(±0.0002d) and e = 0.49(±0.02) respectively. This kind of tertiary companion may extract angular momentum from the central system. The orbital period of EF Dra secularly increases at a rate of dP/dt = +3.72(±0.07)× 10−7 d yr−1 , which may be interpreted by mass transfer from the less massive to the more massive component. As period increases, the separation between components may increase, which will cause the contact degree to decrease. With mass transferring, the spin angular momentum will increase, while the orbital angular momentum will decrease. Only if the contact configuration would merge at Jspin > 3 Jorb could this kind of deep-contact binary with period increasing, such as EF Dra, evolve into a rapidly-rotating single star.


Keywords stars (including multiple): binaries: close — stars: individual (EF Draconis)

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