Period behavior of the W Ursae Majoris contact binary AH Tauri
National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China Yunnan Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, Yunnan Province, China United Laboratory of Optical Astronomy, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
Corresponding author: Yulan Yang, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 29 April 2002
New timing of minimum light determined from CCD observations of the W UMa type contact binary AH Tau is presented. From the present time of minimum light and those collected from the literature, the changes in the orbital period of the system are analyzed. The result reveals that the orbital period of AH Tau continuously decreased at a rate of from 1944 to 1976 and suddenly and sharply decreased by about 0.33 s around 1976. After 1976 the orbital period of the system continually increased at a change rate of . A possible explanation of the changes in the orbital period of AH Tau is discussed. They may be the result of compound action of three mechanisms: the cyclical magnetic activity, the mass loss and the radius swelling of the two components of the system.
Key words: star: individual: AH Tau / stars: binary: eclipsing
© ESO, 2002