Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 465, 4678-4689 (2017/March-2)
Characterization of 9380 contact binaries from the CRTS Variable Sources Catalogue.
MARSH F.M., PRINCE T.A., MAHABAL A.A., BELLM E.C., DRAKE A.J. and DJORGOVSKI S.G.
Abstract (from CDS):
We construct a sample of 9380 contact binaries (W UMa systems) by using the Catalina Real-Time Transient Survey Variables Sources Catalogue. By measuring brightness change rates, light-curve statistics, and temperatures for this sample, we improve the understanding of contact binary light-curve characteristics, and luminosity variability on decadal time-scales. We show that binaries with convective outer envelopes have a different distribution of light-curve amplitudes and magnitude differences between eclipse minima than binaries with radiative outer envelopes. We find that more than 2000 binaries exhibit a linear change in mean brightness over the 8-yr timespan of observations with at least 3σ significance. We note that 25.9 per cent of binaries with convective outer envelopes exhibit a significant change in brightness, while only 10.5 per cent of radiative binaries exhibit a significant change in brightness. In 205 binaries (2.2 per cent), we find that a sinusoid model better describes the luminosity trend within the 8-yr observation timespan. For these binaries, we report the amplitudes and periods (as estimated using observed half-periods) of this sinusoidal brightness variation and discuss possible mechanisms driving the variation.
surveys - binaries: eclipsing - stars: magnetic field - stars: magnetic field