Spectroscopic binaries among Hipparcos M giants*
III. The eccentricity – period diagram and mass-transfer signatures
Institut d'Astronomie et d'Astrophysique, Université Libre de Bruxelles, CP. 226, Boulevard du Triomphe, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 20 December 2008
Context. This paper is the third one in a series devoted to studying the properties of binaries involving M giants.
Aims. We use a new set of orbits to construct the first (e - log P) diagram of an extensive sample of M giant binaries, to obtain their mass-function distribution, and to derive evolutionary constraints for this class of binaries and related systems.
Methods. The orbital properties of binaries involving M giants were analysed and compared with those of related families of binaries (K giants, post-AGB stars, barium stars, Tc-poor S stars).
Results. The orbital elements of post-AGB stars and M giants are not very different, which may indicate that, for the considered sample of post-AGB binaries, the post-AGB star left the AGB at quite an early stage (M4 or so). Neither are the orbital elements of post-mass-transfer binaries like barium stars very different from those of M giants, suggesting that the mass transfer did not alter the orbital elements much, contrary to current belief. Finally, we show that binary systems with e < 0.4 log P - 1 (with periods expressed in days) are predominantly post-mass-transfer systems, because (i) the vast majority of barium and S systems match this condition; and (ii) these systems have companion masses peaking around 0.6 , as expected for white dwarfs. The latter property has been shown to hold as well for open-cluster binaries involving K giants, for which a lower bound on the companion mass may easily be set.
Key words: stars: binaries: spectroscopic / stars: AGB and post-AGB / stars: late-type / stars: binaries: symbiotic
© ESO, 2009