Spectral modelling of circular massive binary systems
Towards an understanding of the Struve-Sahade effect?
Institut d’Astrophysique et de Géophysique, Université de Liège, Bât. B5c, Allée du 6 Août 17, 4000 Liège, Belgium
Received: 20 June 2011
Accepted: 2 September 2011
Context. Some secondary effects are known to introduce variations in spectra of massive binaries. These phenomena, such as the Struve-Sahade effect and the difficulties in determining properly the spectral type have been reported and documented in the literature.
Aims. We simulate the spectra of circular massive binaries at different phases of the orbital cycle and account for the gravitational influence of the companion star on the shape and physical properties of the stellar surface.
Methods. We use the Roche potential to compute the stellar surface, von Zeipel theorem, and reflection effects to compute the surface temperature. We then interpolate in a grid of non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (NLTE) plan-parallel atmosphere model spectra to obtain the local spectrum at each surface point. We finally sum all the contributions, accounting for the reflection, Doppler shift, and limb-darkening to obtain the total spectrum. The computation is done for different orbital phases and for different sets of physical and orbital parameters.
Results. Our models reproduce the Struve-Sahade effect for several lines. Another effect on the surface temperature distribution is visible but the distribution predicted by our current model is not yet consistent with observations.
Conclusions. In some cases, the Struve-Sahade effect as well as more complex line intensity variations could be linked to blends of intrinsically asymmetric line profiles that are not appropriately treated by the deblending routine. Systematic variations in the lines of (nearly) contact systems are also predicted by the model.
Key words: stars: massive / binaries: general / stars: fundamental parameters / stars: atmospheres / binaries: spectroscopic
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