EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 395, Number 3, December I 2002
Page(s) 899 - 905
Section Formation, structure and evolution of stars
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20021337

A&A 395, 899-905 (2002)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20021337

The structure equations of contact binaries

H. Kähler

Hamburger Sternwarte, Gojenbergsweg 112, 21029 Hamburg, Germany
(Received 3 April 2002 / Accepted 13 September 2002 )

The structure equations of contact binaries are discussed. An equation for the transfer of mass between the components is derived. Serious uncertainties concern only the transfer of energy. They are expressed as unknown functions. An evolution code for contact binaries is presented. The restrictions imposed by a spherically averaged treatment of the components are discussed. Apart from these restrictions the code can be adapted to any choice of the functions describing the energy transfer. A simple tentative choice for these functions is proposed.

Key words: stars: binaries: close

© ESO 2002