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Evidence for the Roche Lobe Overflow in VV Cephei

  • E. F. Guinan (a1), G. P. McCook (a1), R. H. Koch (a2) and R. J. Pfeiffer (a3)

Abstract

The VV Cep close binary system (O8V + M2 lab; P = 20 3 yrs.) is described from published spectral, radial velocity, photometric, and astrometric results. A long-term photometric monitoring program shows intrinsic variability in a red bandpass. Variability exists on several time scales and the longest of these is attributed to tidal distortion of the cool supergiant by the equally massive hot companion. A theoretical “distortion” light curve, when faced against the observations, indicated the radius of the supergiant to be significantly smaller than the accepted value of ~1600R. This conclusion is examined in the context of a pulse of polarized red light occurring near the time of periastron and interpreted as Roche Lobe overflow of the supergiant envelope. It is shown that the photometric and polarimetrie results may be made accordant, not by appeal to a very large level of scattered red light, but rather by invoking the loss of constraint originally imposed by the Roche Lobe geometry.

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Copyright

References

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Cowley, A. P. 1969, Publ. A.S.P. 81, 297.
Guinan, E. F., and McCook, G. P. 1974, Publ. A.S.P. 86, 947.
Hutchings, J B., and Wright, K. O. 1971, M.N.R.A.S. 155, 203.
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Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 1539-2996
  • URL: /core/journals/proceedings-of-the-international-astronomical-union
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