Vol 20, No 4

Investigation of near-contact semi-detached binary W UMi through observations and evolutionary models

Faruk Soydugan, Esin Soydugan, Fahri Aliçavuş


Abstract W UMi is a near contact, semi-detached, double-lined eclipsing binary star with an orbital period of 1.7 d. Simultaneous analysis of new BV R multi-color light curves and radial velocity data yields the main astrophysical parameters of the binary and its component stars. We determined mass and radius to be M1 = 3.22 ± 0.08 M⊙, R1 = 3.63 ± 0.04 R⊙ for the primary star and M2 = 1.44 ± 0.05 M⊙, R2 = 3.09 ± 0.03 R⊙ for the secondary star. Based on analysis of mid-eclipse times, variation in the orbital period is represented by a cyclic term and a downward parabola. Mass loss from the system is suggested for a secular decrease (−0.02 s yr−1) in the period. Both the mechanisms of a hypothetical tertiary star orbiting around W UMi and the surface magnetic activity of the less massive cooler companion were used to interpret periodic changes. Observational parameters were found to be consistent with binary stellar evolution models produced in the non-conservative approach of MESA at a higher metallicity than the Sun and an age of about 400 Myr for the system. Evidence that the system is rich in metal was obtained from spectral and kinematic analysis as well as evolution models. W UMi, a high mass ratio system compared to classical semi-detached binaries, is an important example since it is estimated from binary evolutionary models that the system may reach its contact phase in a short time interval.


Keywords binaries: eclipsing — stars: fundamental parameters — stars: evolution — stars: individual: W UMi

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