EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 435, Number 3, June I 2005
Page(s) 1013 - 1030
Section Stellar structure and evolution
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20042368

A&A 435, 1013-1030 (2005)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20042368

Constraining the mass transfer in massive binaries through progenitor evolution models of Wolf-Rayet+O binaries

J. Petrovic1, 2, N. Langer1 and K. A. van der Hucht3, 4

1  Sterrenkundig Instituut, Universiteit Utrecht, Princetonplein 5, 3584 CC Utrecht, The Netherlands
    e-mail: petrovic@astro.uu.nl
2  Astronomical Institute, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Toernooiveld 1, 6525 ED, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
3  SRON, Nationaal Instituut voor Ruimte Onderzoek, Sorbonnelaan 2, 3584 CA Utrecht, The Netherlands
4  Sterrenkundig Instituut Anton Pannekoek, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Kruislaan 403, 1098 SJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands

(Received 15 November 2004 / Accepted 18 February 2005)

Since close WR+O binaries are the result of a strong interaction of both stars in massive close binary systems, they can be used to constrain the highly uncertain mass and angular momentum budget during the major mass transfer phase. We explore the progenitor evolution of the three best suited WR+O binaries HD 90657, HD 186943 and HD 211853, which are characterized by a WR/O mass ratio of ~0.5 and periods of 6...10 days. We are doing so at three different levels of approximation: predicting the massive binary evolution through simple mass loss and angular momentum loss estimates, through full binary evolution models with parametrized mass transfer efficiency, and through binary evolution models including rotation of both components and a physical model which allows to compute mass and angular momentum loss from the binary system as function of time during the mass transfer process. All three methods give consistently the same answers. Our results show that, if these systems formed through stable mass transfer, their initial periods were smaller than their current ones, which implies that mass transfer has started during the core hydrogen burning phase of the initially more massive star. Furthermore, the mass transfer in all three cases must have been highly non-conservative, with on average only ~10% of the transferred mass being retained by the mass receiving star. This result gives support to our system mass and angular momentum loss model, which predicts that, in the considered systems, about 90% of the overflowing matter is expelled by the rapid rotation of the mass receiver close to the $\Omega$-limit, which is reached through the accretion of the remaining 10%.

Key words: stars: binaries: close -- stars: evolution -- stars: fundamental parameters -- stars: rotation -- stars: Wolf-Rayet

SIMBAD Objects

© ESO 2005