Wednesday, June 5, 2013

1306.0390 (M. Benisty et al.)

Enhanced Halpha activity at periastron in the young and massive spectroscopic binary HD200775    [PDF]

M. Benisty, K. Perraut, D. Mourard, P. Stee, G. H. R. A. Lima, J. B. Le Bouquin, M. Borges Fernandes, O. Chesneau, N. Nardetto, I. Tallon-Bosc, H. McAlister, T. Ten Brummelaar, S. Ridgway, J. Sturmann, L. Sturmann, N. Turner, C. Farrington, P. J Goldfinger
Young close binaries clear central cavities in their surrounding circumbinary disk from which the stars can still accrete material. This process takes place within the very first astronomical units, and is still not well constrained as the observational evidence has been gathered, until now, only by means of spectroscopy. The young object HD200775 (MWC361) is a massive spectroscopic binary (separation of ~15.9mas, ~5.0~AU), with uncertain classification (early/late Be), that shows a strong and variable Halpha emission. We aim to study the mechanisms that produce the Halpha line at the AU-scale. Combining the radial velocity measurements and astrometric data available in the literature, we determined new orbital parameters. With the VEGA instrument on the CHARA array, we spatially and spectrally resolved the Halpha emission of HD200775, at low and medium spectral resolutions (R~1600 and 5000) over a full orbital period (~3.6 years). We observe that the Halpha equivalent width varies with the orbital phase, and increases close to periastron, as expected from theoretical models that predict an increase of the mass transfer from the circumbinary disk to the primary disk. In addition, using spectral visibilities and differential phases, we find marginal variations of the typical extent of the Halpha emission (at 1 to 2-sigma level) and location (at 1 to 5-sigma level). The spatial extent of the Halpha emission, as probed by a Gaussian FWHM, is minimum at the ascending node (0.67+/-0.20 mas, i.e., 0.22+/-0.06 AU), and more than doubles at periastron. In addition, the Gaussian photocenter is slightly displaced in the direction opposite to the secondary, ruling out the scenario in which all or most of the Halpha emission is due to accretion onto the secondary. These findings, together with the wide Halpha line profile, may be due to a non-spherical wind enhanced at periastron.
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