Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Hot Companion and Circumbinary Disk of the Be Star HR 2142


Peters et al


We present a spectroscopic investigation of the Be+sdO binary system HR 2142 that is based upon large sets of ultraviolet observations from the International Ultraviolet Explorer and ground-based H-alpha observations. We measured radial velocities for the Be star component from these spectra, and computed a revised orbit. In order to search for the spectral signature of the hot subdwarf, we cross-correlated the short wavelength end of each IUE spectrum with a model hot star spectrum, and then we used the predicted Doppler shifts of the subdwarf to shift-and-add all the cross-correlation functions to the frame of the subdwarf. This merged function shows the weak signal from the spectral lines of the hot star, and a best fit is obtained with a mass ratio M_2/M_1 = 0.07 +/- 0.02, companion temperature T_{eff} > 43 +/- 5 kK, projected rotational velocity V sin i < 30 km/s, and a monochromatic flux ratio near 1170 Angstroms of f_2/f_1 > 0.009 +/- 0.001. This hot subdwarf creates a one-armed spiral, tidal wake in the disk of the Be star, and we present a circumbinary disk model that can explain the occurrence of shell absorption lines by gas enhancements that occur where gas crossing the gap created by the subdwarf strikes the disk boundaries. The faint companion of HR 2142 may be representative of a significant fraction of Be stars with undetected former mass donor companion stars.

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