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Photometric and spectroscopic studies of massive binaries in the large magellanic cloud. I. Introduction and orbits for two detached systems: Evidence for a mass discrepancy?

Massey, Philip and Morrell, Nidia I. and Neugent, Kathryn F. and Penny, Laura R. and DeGioia-Eastwood, Kathleen and Gies, Douglas R. (2012) Photometric and spectroscopic studies of massive binaries in the large magellanic cloud. I. Introduction and orbits for two detached systems: Evidence for a mass discrepancy? The Astrophysical Journal, 748 (2). p. 96. ISSN 1538-4357


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The stellar mass-luminosity relation is poorly constrained by observations for high-mass stars. We describe our program to find eclipsing massive binaries in the Magellanic Clouds using photometry of regions rich in massive stars, and our spectroscopic follow-up to obtain radial velocities and orbits. Our photometric campaign identified 48 early-type periodic variables, of which only 15 (31%) were found as part of the microlensing surveys. Spectroscopy is now complete for 17 of these systems, and in this paper we present analysis of the first two, LMC 172231 and ST2-28, simple detached systems of late-type O dwarfs of relatively modest masses. Our orbit analysis yields very precise masses (~2%), and we use tomography to separate the components and determine effective temperatures by model fitting, necessary for determining accurate (0.05-0.07 dex) bolometric luminosities in combination with the light-curve analysis. Our approach allows more precise comparisons with evolutionary theory than previously possible. To our considerable surprise, we find a small, but significant, systematic discrepancy: all of the stars are slightly undermassive, by typically 11% (or overluminous by 0.2 dex) compared with that predicted by the evolutionary models. We examine our approach for systematic problems, but find no satisfactory explanation. The discrepancy is in the same sense as the long-discussed and elusive discrepancy between the masses measured from stellar atmosphere analysis with the stellar evolutionary models, and might suggest that either increased rotation or convective overshooting is needed in the models. Additional systems will be discussed in future papers of this series, and will hopefully confirm or refute this trend.

Item Type: Article
Publisher’s Statement: © 2012 The American Astronomical Society. Published in the Astrophysical Journal.
ID number or DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/748/2/96
Keywords: photometry spectrum; massive binary LMC; detached system mass discrepancy; binaries: eclipsing; binaries: spectroscopic; binary stars; currently forming stars; Eclipsing binaries; effective temperature scale; expanding atmospheres; gravitational lensing experiment; large magellanic cloud; o-type binaries; physical-properties; research; Stars; stars: early-type; stars: fundamental parameters; stars: fundamental parameters; stellar magnitudes; supergiant stars; variable-star inventory; vlt-flames survey; wolf-rayet stars
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Faculty/Staff
Department/Unit: College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Science > Physics and Astronomy
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2015 17:36
URI: http://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/1334

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