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One, two, or three stars? An investigation of an unusual eclipsing binary candidate undergoing dramatic period changes

Lohr, M. E.; Norton, A. J.; Kolb, U. C. and Boyd, D. R. S. (2013). One, two, or three stars? An investigation of an unusual eclipsing binary candidate undergoing dramatic period changes. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 558

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201322368
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Abstract

We report our investigation of 1SWASP J234401.81-212229.1, a variable with a 18 461.6 s period. After identification in a 2011 search of the SuperWASP archive for main-sequence eclipsing binary candidates near the distribution's short-period limit of ~0.20 d, it was measured to be undergoing rapid period decrease in our earlier work, though later observations supported a cyclic variation in period length. Spectroscopic data obtained in 2012 with the Southern African Large Telescope did not, however, support the interpretation of the object as a normal eclipsing binary. Here, we consider three possible explanations consistent with the data: a single-star oblique rotator model in which variability results from stable cool spots on opposite magnetic poles; a two-star model in which the secondary is a brown dwarf; and a three-star model involving a low-mass eclipsing binary in a hierarchical triple system. We conclude that the latter is the most likely model.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2013 ESO
ISSN: 1432-0746
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
WASPNot SetQueen’s University Belfast, the Universities of Keele, St. Andrews and Leicester,the Open University, the Isaac Newton Group, the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, the South African Astronomical Observatory and by STFC
Keywords: stars: individual: 1SWASP J234401.81−212229.1; stars: variables: general; binaries: close; binaries: eclipsing
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Physical Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Related URLs:
Item ID: 38701
Depositing User: Andrew Norton
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2013 11:24
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2018 02:23
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/38701
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