Physics of the Applegate mechanism: Eclipsing time variations from magnetic activity
Hamburger Sternwarte, Universität Hamburg, Gojenbergsweg 112, 21029 Hamburg, Germany
2 Departamento de Astronomía, Facultad Ciencias Físicas y Matemáticas, Universidad de Concepción, Av. Esteban Iturra s/n Barrio Universitario, Casilla 160-C, Concepción, Chile
Accepted: 4 September 2018
Since its proposal in 1992, the Applegate mechanism has been discussed as a potential intrinsical mechanism to explain transit-timing variations in various types of close binary systems. Most analytical arguments presented so far focused on the energetic feasibility of the mechanism while applying rather crude one- or two-zone prescriptions to describe the exchange of angular momentum within the star. In this paper, we present the most detailed approach to date to describe the physics giving rise to the modulation period from kinetic and magnetic fluctuations. Assuming moderate levels of stellar parameter fluctuations, we find that the resulting binary period variations are one or two orders of magnitude lower than the observed values in RS-CVn like systems, supporting the conclusion of existing theoretical work that the Applegate mechanism may not suffice to produce the observed variations in these systems. The most promising Applegate candidates are low-mass post-common-envelope binaries with binary separations ≲1 R⊙ and secondary masses in the range of 0.30 M⊙ and 0.36 M⊙.
Key words: stars: activity / stars: interiors / stars: AGB and post-AGB / binaries: eclipsing
© ESO 2018