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WZ Cygni: a Marginal Contact Binary in a Triple System?

By Jae Woo Lee, Seung-Lee Kim, Chung-Uk Lee, Ho-Il Kim, Jang-Ho Park and Tobias Cornelius Hinse

Abstract

We present new multiband CCD photometry for WZ Cyg made on 22 nights in two observing seasons of 2007 and 2008. Our light-curve synthesis indicates that the system is in poor thermal contact with a fill-out factor of 4.8% and a temperature difference of 1447 K. Including our 40 timing measurements, a total of 371 times of minimum light spanning more than 112 yr were used for a period study. Detailed analysis of the $O$--$C$ diagram showed that the orbital period has varied by a combination with an upward parabola and a sinusoid. The upward parabola means the continuous period increase and indicates that some stellar masses are thermally transferred from the less to the more massive primary star at a rate of about 5.80$\times10^{-8}$ M$_\odot$ yr$^{-1}$. The sinusoidal variation with a period of 47.9 yr and a semi-amplitude of 0.008 d can be interpreted most likely as the light-travel-time effect due to the existence of a low-mass M-type tertiary companion with a projected mass of $M_3 \sin i_3$=0.26 M$_\odot$. We examined the evolutionary status of WZ Cyg from the absolute dimensions of the eclipsing pair. It belongs to the marginal contact binary systems before broken-contact phase, consisting of a massive primary star with spectral type of F4 and a secondary with the type K1.Comment: 20 pages, including 3 figures and 6 tables, accepted for publication in A

Topics: Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1088/0004-6256/142/1/12
OAI identifier: oai:arXiv.org:1104.3603
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