Volume 547, November 2012
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Published online||23 October 2012|
Gravity darkening in binary stars
1 Université de Toulouse, UPS-OMP, IRAP, Toulouse, France
2 CNRS, IRAP, 14 avenue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
Received: 3 July 2012
Accepted: 23 September 2012
Context. Interpretation of light curves of many types of binary stars requires the inclusion of the (cor)relation between surface brightness and local effective gravity. Until recently, this correlation has always been modeled by a power law relating the flux or the effective temperature and the effective gravity, namely Teff ∝ geffβ .
Aims. We look for a simple model that can describe the variations of the flux at the surface of stars belonging to a binary system.
Methods. This model assumes that the energy flux is a divergence-free vector anti-parallel to the effective gravity. The effective gravity is computed from the Roche model.
Results. After explaining in a simple manner the old result of Lucy (1967, Z. Astrophys., 65, 89), which says that β ~ 0.08 for solar type stars, we first argue that one-dimensional models should no longer be used to evaluate gravity darkening laws. We compute the correlation between log Teff and log geff using a new approach that is valid for synchronous, weakly magnetized, weakly irradiated binaries. We show that this correlation is approximately linear, validating the use of a power law relation between effective temperature and effective gravity as a first approximation. We further show that the exponent β of this power law is a slowly varying function, which we tabulate, of the mass ratio of the binary star and the Roche lobe filling factor of the stars of the system. The exponent β remains mostly in the interval [0.20,0.25] if extreme mass ratios are eliminated.
Conclusions. For binary stars that are synchronous, weakly magnetized and weakly irradiated, the gravity darkening exponent is well constrained and may be removed from the free parameters of the models.
Key words: stars: atmospheres / stars: rotation / binaries: eclipsing
© ESO, 2012
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