EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 441, Number 3, October III 2005
Page(s) 1135 - 1148
Section Stellar atmospheres
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20053298

A&A 441, 1135-1148 (2005)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20053298

On metal-deficient barium stars and their link with yellow symbiotic stars

A. Jorissen1, L. Zacs2, S. Udry3, H. Lindgren4 and F. A. Musaev5, 6, 7

1  Institut d'Astronomie et d'Astrophysique, Université Libre de Bruxelles, CP 226, Boulevard du Triomphe, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium
    e-mail: ajorisse@astro.ulb.ac.be
2  Institute of Atomic Physics and Spectroscopy, University of Latvia, Raina bulvaris 19, Riga, LV 1586 Latvia
3  Observatoire de Genève, 1290 Sauverny, Suisse
4  Lund Observatory, Box 43, 221 00 Lund, Sweden
5  Special Astrophysical Observatory and Isaac Newton Institute of Chile, SAO Branch, Nizhnij Arkhyz 369167, Russia
6  ICAMER, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, 361605 Peak Terskol, Kabardino-Balkaria, Russia
7  Shamakhy Astrophysical Observatory, National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan

(Received 25 April 2005 / Accepted 20 May 2005 )

This paper addresses the question of why metal-deficient barium stars are not yellow symbiotic stars (YSyS). Samples of (suspected) metal-deficient barium (mdBa) stars and YSyS have been collected from the literature, and their properties reviewed. It appears in particular that the barium nature of the suspected mdBa stars needs to be ascertained by detailed abundance analyses. Abundances are therefore derived for two of them, HD 139409 and HD 148897, which reveal that HD 148897 should not be considered a barium star. HD 139409 is a mild barium star, with overabundances observed only for elements belonging to the first s-process peak (Y and Zr). It is only moderately metal-poor ([Fe/H] = -0.4). The evidence for binarity among mdBa stars is then reviewed, using three different methods: (i) radial-velocity variations (from CORAVEL observations), (ii) Hipparcos astrometric data, and (iii)  a method based on the comparison between the Hipparcos and Tycho-2 proper motions. An orbit is obtained for HIP 55852, whereas evidence for the (so far unknown) binary nature of HIP 34795, HIP 76605, HIP 97874 and HIP 107478 is presented. No conclusion regarding the binary nature of HIP 11595, HIP 25161 could be reached. Two stars with no evidence for binarity whatsoever (HIP 58596 and BD +3°2688) are candidates low-metallicity thermally-pulsing asymptotic giant branch stars, as inferred from their large luminosities. The reason why mdBa stars are not YSyS is suggested to lie in their different orbital period distributions: mdBa stars have on average longer orbital periods than YSyS, and hence their companion accretes matter at a lower rate, for a given mass loss rate of the giant star. The definite validation of this explanation should nevertheless await the determination of the orbital periods for the many mdBa stars still lacking periods, in order to make the comparison more significant.

Key words: binaries: symbiotic -- stars: abundances -- stars: AGB and post-AGB -- binaries: spectroscopic

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© ESO 2005