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Two Very Dissimilar Mass Stars in a Contact Binary

11 Jul 2014, 22:00 UTC
Two Very Dissimilar Mass Stars in a Contact Binary
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CCD photometric observations of V710 Monocerotis by L. Liu et al. (2014) indicate it is an extreme mass ratio, deep contact binary star system whose primary component (i.e. the more massive star) could be in an expanding phase as the star is entering its post-main-sequence stage of evolution. The primary and secondary components have 1.14 and 0.16 times the Sun’s mass, respectively. This large difference in mass between the primary and secondary components is what makes V710 Monocerotis an “extreme mass ratio binary”. Furthermore, being a contact binary system means that both stars are so close to each other, they actually touch. In fact, both stars are in deep, ~60 percent contact with each other, hence the term “deep contact binary”.Figure 1: Artist’s impression of a planet circling a binary star system. Such a planet is known as a circumbinary planet.Figure 2: Geometrical configuration of the deep contact binary V710 Monocerotis at phases 0.00 and 0.50. Only the primary component can be seen at phase 0.50. L. Liu et al. (2014).V710 Monocerotis is a totally-eclipsing binary system. This is because during each orbit, the primary component completely blocks the secondary component. The primary and secondary components circle around each other ...

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