Volume 547, November 2012
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Stellar structure and evolution|
|Published online||24 October 2012|
Measuring the orbital inclination of Z Andromedae from Rayleigh scattering
Astronomical Institute, Slovak Academy of Sciences,
Received: 2 June 2011
Accepted: 10 September 2012
Context. The orbital inclination of the symbiotic prototype Z And has not been established yet. At present, two very different values are considered, i ~ 44° and i ≳ 73°. The correct value of i is a key parameter in, for example, modeling the highly-collimated jets of Z And.
Aims. To measure the orbital inclination of Z And.
Methods. First, we derive the hydrogen column density (nH), which causes the Rayleigh scattering of the far-UV spectrum at the orbital phase φ = 0.961 ± 0.018. Second, we calculate nH as a function of i and φ for the ionization structure during the quiescent phase. Third, we compare the nH(i,φ) models with the observed value.
Results. The most probable shaping of the H i/H ii boundaries and the uncertainties in the orbital phase limit i of Z And to 59°−2°/+3°. Systematic errors given by using different wind velocity laws can increase i up to ~74°. A high value of i is supported independently by the orbitally related variation in the far-UV continuum and the obscuration of the O i] λ1641 Å emission line around the inferior conjunction of the giant.
Conclusions. The derived value of the inclination of the Z And orbital plane allows treating satellite components of Hα and Hβ emission lines as highly-collimated jets.
Key words: binaries: symbiotic / scattering / stars: individual: Z And
© ESO, 2012
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