The eclipsing system EP Andromedae and its circumbinary companions.
LEE J.W., HINSE T.C. and PARK J.-H.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present new long-term CCD photometry for EP And acquired during the period 2007-2012. The light curves display total eclipses at primary minima and season-to-season light variability. Our synthesis for all available light curves indicates that the eclipsing pair is a W-type overcontact binary with parameters of q = 2.578, i = 83.°3, ΔT = 27 K, f = 28%, and l3= 2%-3%. The asymmetric light curves in 2007 were satisfactorily modeled by a cool spot on either of the eclipsing components from a magnetic dynamo. Including our 95 timing measurements, a total of 414 times of minimum light spanning about 82 yr was used for a period study. A detailed analysis of the eclipse timing diagram revealed that the orbital period of EP And has varied as a combination of an upward-opening parabola and two periodic variations, with cycle lengths of P3= 44.6 yr and P4= 1.834 yr and semi-amplitudes of K3= 0.0100 days and K4= 0.0039 days, respectively. The observed period increase at a fractional rate of +1.39x10–10 is in excellent agreement with that calculated from the W-D code and can be plausibly explained by some combination of mass transfer from the primary to the secondary star and angular momentum loss due to magnetic braking. The most reasonable explanation for both cycles is a pair of light-travel-time effects driven by the possible existence of a third and fourth component with projected masses of M3 = 0.25 M☉ and M4= 0.90 M☉. The more massive companion could be revealed using high-resolution spectroscopic data extending over the course of a few years and could also be a binary itself. It is possible that the circumbinary objects may have played an important role in the formation and evolution of the eclipsing pair, which would cause it to have a short initial orbital period and thus evolve into an overcontact configuration by angular momentum loss.
binaries: close - binaries: eclipsing - stars: individual: EP Andromedae - starspots
VizieR on-line data:
<Available at CDS (J/AJ/145/100): table2.dat table7.dat refs.dat>