Vol 20, No 8

Eclipsing binary XZ CMi in a hierarchical quadruple system

Zhi-Hua Wang, Li-Ying Zhu


Abstract The new complete BV R c I c light curves and spectra of the short-period eclipsing binary XZ Cmi are presented. The results from the combined analysis based on the photometric and spectroscopic data show that XZ CMi is a near contact binary with the secondary component filling its critical Roche lobe while the primary filling 91% of its Roche lobe. The investigation of the O−C diagram reveals that its orbital period is continuously increasing, which is consistent with the derived configuration and caused by the mass transfer from the less massive star to the more massive one. In addition, an obvious periodic modulation with the amplitude of0.0187(±0.0016) d and a high eccentric of 0.86(±0.04) is detected, which could be the results of the light time effect as a third star with the mass no less than 0.42(±0.09) M⊙ orbiting around the central eclipsing binary once every 95.7(±2.1) yr. Furthermore, we found a visual companion star at 2.4′′ east by south of this system at a much greater distance by direct image. The large third light contribution found from the light curve analysis could be well explained by the existence of the third star and the fourth visual one. The similar parallax and proper motion imply that the components of this hierarchical quadruple system might be bounded by gravitation. Spectroscopic observations for two visual components were carried out by the LAMOST and 2.16 m telescopes, respectively. Their different values of [Fe/H] suggest that they were not born from the same origin. Thus, XZ CMi system is an interesting and important target to study the formation of the multiple stars.


Keywords binaries: close — binaries: eclipsing — stars: individual (XZ CMi)

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