Volume 542, June 2012
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Stellar structure and evolution|
|Published online||12 June 2012|
Unique sextuple system: 65 Ursae Majoris⋆
1 Astronomical Institute, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University Prague, 180 00 Praha 8, V Holešovičkách 2, Czech Republic
2 Private Observatory, Pohoří 71, 25401 Jílové u Prahy, Czech Republic
3 Astronomical Institute, Academy of Sciences, Fričova 298, 251 65 Ondřejov, Czech Republic
Received: 29 February 2012
Accepted: 28 March 2012
Context. The study of stellar multiple systems provides us with important information about the stellar formation processes and can help us to estimate the multiplicity fraction in the Galaxy. 65 UMa belongs to a rather small group of stellar systems of higher multiplicity, whose inner and outer orbits are well-known. This allows us to study the long-term stability and evolution of the orbits in these systems.
Aims. We obtained new photometric and spectroscopic data that when combined with interferometric data enables us to analyze the system 65 UMa and determine its basic physical properties.
Methods. We perform a combined analysis of the light and radial velocity curves, as well as the period variation by studying the times of the minima and the interferometric orbit. A disentangling technique is used to perform the spectra decomposition. This combined approach allows us to study the long-term period changes in the system for the first time, identifying the period variation due to the motion on the visual orbit, in addition to some short-term modulation.
Results. We find that the system contains one more component, hence we tread it as a sextuple hierarchical system. The most inner pair of components consists of an eclipsing binary orbiting around a barycenter on a circular orbit, both components being almost identical of spectral type about A7. This pair orbits on an eccentric orbit around a barycenter, and the third component orbits with a period of about 640 days. This motion is reflected in the period variation in the minima times of the eclipsing pair, as well as in the radial velocities of the primary, secondary, and tertiary components. Moreover, this system orbits around a barycenter with the distant component resolved interferometrically, whose period is of about 118 years. Two more distant components (4′′ and 63′′) are also probably gravitationally bound to the system. The nodal period of the eclipsing-pair orbit is on the order of only a few centuries, which makes this system even more interesting for a future prospective detection of changing the depths of minima.
Conclusions. We identify a unique solution of the system 65 UMa, decomposing the individual components and even shifting the system to higher multiplicity. The study of this kind of multiple can help us to understand the origin of stellar systems. Besides 65 UMa, only another 11 sextuple systems have been studied.
Key words: binaries: eclipsing / stars: fundamental parameters / stars: individual: 65 UMa / stars: early-type
Reduced photometric and spectroscopic data, and Tables A.1–A.4 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (220.127.116.11) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/542/A78
© ESO, 2012
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