Volume 384, Number 1, MarchII 2002
|Page(s)||209 - 214|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||15 March 2002|
β Centauri: An eccentric binary with two β Cep-type components*
Instituut voor Sterrenkunde, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200 B, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
2 Space Department, TNO TPD, Stieltjesweg 1, 2600 AD Delft, The Netherlands
3 Koninklijke Sterrenwacht van België, Ringlaan 3, 1080 Brussels, Belgium
Corresponding author: C. Aerts, email@example.com
Accepted: 2 January 2002
We introduce our observational study of the orbital motion and the intrinsic variability of the double-lined spectroscopic binary β Cen. Using 463 high signal-to-noise, high-resolution spectra obtained over a timespan of 12 years it is shown that the radial velocity of β Cen varies with an orbital period of 357.0 days. We derive for the first time the orbital parameters of β Cen and find a very eccentric orbit () and similar component masses with a mass ratio . Cen forms a challenge for current evolution scenarios in close binaries and it is also a puzzle how a massive binary with such a large eccentricity could have formed in the first place. Both the primary and the secondary exhibit line-profile variations. A period analysis performed on the radial velocity variations of the primary after prewhitening the orbital motion leads to the detection of at least 3 pulsation frequencies while the star does not show any periodic photometric variability.
Key words: stars: binaries: spectroscopic / stars: variables: β Cep / stars: individual: β Cen
© ESO, 2002
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