EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 422, Number 2, August I 2004
Page(s) 665 - 673
Section Stellar atmospheres
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20047056

A&A 422, 665-673 (2004)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20047056

On the irradiated stellar atmospheres in close binary systems: Improvements and uncertainties

A. Claret

Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, CSIC, Apartado 3004, 18080 Granada, Spain
    e-mail: claret@iaa.es

(Received 12 January 2003 / Accepted 30 March 2004 )

The irradiation of cool stellar atmospheres is reanalyzed using a modified version of the UMA (Uppsala Model Atmosphere) code which incorporates two improvements concerning 1) the spacial resolution (18 $\mu$ points instead of only 6 adopted previously) and 2) adopting modern atmosphere models to simulate hot companions. The implementation of a better spacial resolution is shown to be essential to describe with accuracy the center to limb variation of the specific intensities. It is also shown that only by adopting such a resolution (or a higher one) it is possible to detected and quantify the limb-brightening with confidence.

As in the case of standard (non-irradiated) plane-parallel models, the Least-Squares method applied to the series expansion for the specific intensity introduced by Claret (2000) is shown to be the best procedure to derive the limb-darkening coefficients for illuminated atmospheres producing very small scattering and conserving the flux accurately.

Since UMA does not work for wavelengths shorter than 1500 Å, the introduction of hot models to simulate the external fluxes introduces severe uncertainties in the model of irradiation. These uncertainties were ignored in previous works using the same code and similar conditions of irradiation. Other limitations of the model of irradiation, such as the suitability of applying the spherical symmetry instead of the plane-parallel approximation, are also discussed.

Key words: stars: atmospheres -- stars: binaries: eclipsing

© ESO 2004