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2013AJ....146...70R - Astron. J., 146, 70 (2013/September-0)

Spectroscopic metallicity determinations for W UMa-type binary stars.


Abstract (from CDS):

This study is the first attempt to determine the metallicities of W UMa-type binary stars using spectroscopy. We analyzed about 4500 spectra collected at the David Dunlap Observatory. To circumvent problems caused by the extreme spectral line broadening and blending and by the relatively low quality of the data, all spectra were subject to the same broadening function (BF) processing to determine the combined line strength in the spectral window centered on the Mg I triplet between 5080 Å and 5285 Å. All individual integrated BFs were subsequently orbital-phase averaged to derive a single line-strength indicator for each star. The star sample was limited to 90 W UMa-type (EW) binaries with the strict phase-constancy of colors and without spectral contamination by spectroscopic companions. The best defined results were obtained for an F-type sub-sample (0.32 < (B - V)0< 0.62) of 52 binaries for which integrated BF strengths could be interpolated in the model atmosphere predictions. The logarithmic relative metallicities, [M/H], for the F-type sub-sample indicate metal abundances roughly similar to the solar metallicity, but with a large scatter which is partly due to combined random and systematic errors. Because of the occurrence of a systematic color trend resulting from inherent limitations in our approach, we were forced to set the absolute scale of metallicities to correspond to that derived from the m1index of the Strömgren uvby photometry for 24 binaries of the F-type sub-sample. The trend-adjusted metallicities [M/H]1 are distributed within -0.65 < [M/H]1< +0.50, with the spread reflecting genuine metallicity differences between stars. One half of the F-sub-sample binaries have [M/H]1within -0.37 < [M/H]1< +0.10, a median of -0.04 and a mean of -0.10, with a tail toward low metallicities, and a possible bias against very high metallicities. A parallel study of kinematic data, utilizing the most reliable and recently obtained proper motion and radial velocity data for 78 binaries of the full sample, shows that the F-type sub-sample binaries (44 stars with both velocities and metallicity determinations) have similar kinematic properties to solar-neighborhood, thin-disk dwarfs with space velocity component dispersions: σU = 33 km/s, σV = 23 km/s and σW = 14 km/s. FU Dra with a large spatial velocity, Vtot= 197 km/s and [M/H]1= -0.6±0.2, appears to be the only thick-disk object in the F-type sub-sample. The kinematic data indicate that the F-type EW binaries are typical, thin-disk population stars with ages about 3-5.5 Gyr. The F-type binaries that appear to be older than the rest tend to have systematically smaller mass ratios than most of the EW binaries of the same period.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): methods: observational - stars: abundances - techniques: spectroscopic

VizieR on-line data: <Available at CDS (J/AJ/146/70): table1.dat table3.dat table5.dat table7.dat table8.dat>

Simbad objects: 172

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