Orbit of the mercury-manganese binary 41 Eridani⋆
1 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
2 UJF-Grenoble 1/CNRS-INSU, Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble, UMR 5274, 38041 Grenoble, France
3 Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
Received: 10 January 2017
Accepted: 1 March 2017
Context. Mercury-manganese (HgMn) stars are a class of slowly rotating chemically peculiar main-sequence late B-type stars. More than two-thirds of the HgMn stars are known to belong to spectroscopic binaries.
Aims. By determining orbital solutions for binary HgMn stars, we will be able to obtain the masses for both components and the distance to the system. Consequently, we can establish the position of both components in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram and confront the chemical peculiarities of the HgMn stars with their age and evolutionary history.
Methods. We initiated a program to identify interferometric binaries in a sample of HgMn stars, using the PIONIER near-infrared interferometer at the VLTI on Cerro Paranal, Chile. For the detected systems, we intend to obtain full orbital solutions in conjunction with spectroscopic data.
Results. The data obtained for the SB2 system 41 Eridani allowed the determination of the orbital elements with a period of just five days and a semi-major axis of under 2 mas. Including published radial velocity measurements, we derived almost identical masses of 3.17 ± 0.07 M⊙ for the primary and 3.07 ± 0.07 M⊙ for the secondary. The measured magnitude difference is less than 0.1 mag. The orbital parallax is 18.05 ± 0.17 mas, which is in good agreement with the Hipparcos trigonometric parallax of 18.33 ± 0.15 mas. The stellar diameters are resolved as well at 0.39 ± 0.03 mas. The spin rate is synchronized with the orbital rate.
Key words: techniques: interferometric / binaries: spectroscopic / stars: fundamental parameters / stars: chemically peculiar / stars: distances / stars: individual: 41 Eridani
© ESO, 2017