Volume 581, September 2015
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Published online||02 September 2015|
The strange evolution of the Large Magellanic Cloud Cepheid OGLE-LMC-CEP1812
1 Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Toronto, 50 St. George Street, Toronto, ON, M5S 3H4, Canada
2 Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0HA, UK
3 Argelander-Institut für Astronomie, Universität Bonn, Auf dem Hügel 71, 53121 Bonn, Germany
4 Department of Physics & Astronomy, East Tennessee State University, Box 70652, Johnson City, TN 37614, USA
Received: 10 June 2015
Accepted: 10 August 2015
Classical Cepheids are key probes of both stellar astrophysics and cosmology as standard candles and pulsating variable stars. It is important to understand Cepheids in unprecedented detail in preparation for upcoming Gaia, James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and extremely-large telescope observations. Cepheid eclipsing binary stars are ideal tools for achieving this goal, however there are currently only three known systems. One of those systems, OGLE-LMC-CEP1812, raises new questions about the evolution of classical Cepheids because of an apparent age discrepancy between the Cepheid and its red giant companion. We show that the Cepheid component is actually the product of a stellar merger of two main sequence stars that has since evolved across the Hertzsprung gap of the HR diagram. This post-merger product appears younger than the companion, hence the apparent age discrepancy is resolved. We discuss this idea and consequences for understanding Cepheid evolution.
Key words: binaries: eclipsing / stars: evolution / stars: variables: Cepheids / stars: late-type
© ESO, 2015
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