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  1. Abstract

    HD 93521 is a massive, rapidly rotating star that is located about 1 kpc above the Galactic disk, and the evolutionary age for its estimated mass is much less than the time of flight if it was ejected from the disk. Here we present a reassessment of both the evolutionary and kinematical timescales for HD 93521. We calculate a time of flight of 39 ± 3 Myr based upon the distance and proper motions from Gaia EDR3 and a summary of radial velocity measurements. We then determine the stellar luminosity using a rotational model combined with the observed spectral energy distribution and distance. A comparison with evolutionary tracks for rotating stars from Brott et al. yields an evolutionary age of about 5 ± 2 Myr. We propose that the solution to the timescale discrepancy is that HD 93521 is a stellar merger product. It was probably ejected from the Galactic disk as a close binary system of lower-mass stars that eventually merged to create the rapidly rotating and single massive star we observe today.

  2. Abstract

    We present a spectroscopic analysis of the most rapidly rotating stars currently known, VFTS 102 (vesini=649±52km s−1; O9: Vnnne+) and VFTS 285 (vesini=610±41km s−1; O7.5: Vnnn), both members of the 30 Dor complex in the Large Magellanic Cloud. This study is based on high-resolution ultraviolet spectra from Hubble Space Telescope/Cosmic Origins Spectrograph and optical spectra from the Very Large Telescope (VLT) X-shooter plus archival VLT GIRAFFE spectra. We utilize numerical simulations of their photospheres, rotationally distorted shape, and gravity darkening to calculate model spectral line profiles and predicted monochromatic absolute fluxes. We use a guided grid search to investigate parameters that yield best fits for the observed features and fluxes. These fits produce estimates of the physical parameters for these stars (plus a Galactic counterpart,ζOph) including the equatorial rotational velocity, inclination, radius, mass, gravity, temperature, and reddening. We find that both stars appear to be radial-velocity constant. VFTS 102 is rotating at critical velocity, has a modest He enrichment, and appears to share the motion of the nearby OB-association LH 99. These properties suggest that the star was spun up through a close binary merger. VFTS 285 is rotating at 95% of criticalmore »velocity, has a strong He enrichment, and is moving away from the R136 cluster at the center of 30 Dor. It is mostly likely a runaway star ejected by a supernova explosion that released the components of the natal binary system.

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  3. Abstract

    The eclipsing binary IT Librae is an unusual system of two B-type stars that is situated about 1 kpc above the Galactic plane. The binary was probably ejected from its birthplace in the disk, but the implied time of flight to its current location exceeds the evolutionary lifetime of the primary star. Here we present a study of new high-dispersion spectroscopy and an exquisite light curve from the Kepler K2 mission in order to determine the system properties and resolve the timescale discrepancy. We derive a revised spectroscopic orbit from radial-velocity measurements and determine the component effective temperatures through comparison of reconstructed and model spectra (T1= 23.8 ± 1.8 kK,T2= 13.7 ± 2.5 kK). We use the Eclipsing Light Curve code to model the K2 light curve, and from the inclination of the fit we derive the component masses (M1= 9.6 ± 0.6M,M2= 4.2 ± 0.2M) and mean radii (R1= 6.06 ± 0.16R,R2= 5.38 ± 0.14R). The secondary star is overluminous for its mass and appears to fill its Roche lobe. This indicates that IT Librae is a post-mass-transfer system in which the current secondary was the mass donor star. The current primary star was rejuvenated by mass accretion,more »and its evolutionary age corresponds to the time since the mass transfer stage. Consequently, the true age of the binary is larger than the ejection time of flight, thus resolving the timescale discrepancy.

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  4. Abstract

    Classical Be stars are possible products of close binary evolution, in which the mass donor becomes a hot, stripped O- or B-type subdwarf (sdO/sdB), and the mass gainer spins up and grows a disk to become a Be star. While several Be+sdO binaries have been identified, dynamical masses and other fundamental parameters are available only for a single Be+sdO system, limiting the confrontation with binary evolution models. In this work, we present direct interferometric detections of the sdO companions of three Be stars—28 Cyg, V2119 Cyg, and 60 Cyg—all of which were previously found in UV spectra. For two of the three Be+sdO systems, we present first orbits and preliminary dynamical masses of the components, revealing that one of them could be the first identified progenitor of a Be/X-ray binary with a neutron star companion. These results provide new sets of fundamental parameters that are crucially needed to establish the evolutionary status and origin of Be stars.

  5. ABSTRACT The bright and understudied classical Be star HD 6226 has exhibited multiple outbursts in the last several years during which the star grew a viscous decretion disc. We analyse 659 optical spectra of the system collected from 2017 to 2020, along with a ultraviolet spectrum from the Hubble Space Telescope and high cadence photometry from both Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT) survey. We find that the star has a spectral type of B2.5IIIe, with a rotation rate of 74 per cent of critical. The star is nearly pole-on with an inclination of 13${_{.}^{\circ}}$4. We confirm the spectroscopic pulsational properties previously reported, and report on three photometric oscillations from KELT photometry. The outbursting behaviour is studied with equivalent width measurements of H α and H β, and the variations in both of these can be quantitatively explained with two frequencies through a Fourier analysis. One of the frequencies for the emission outbursts is equal to the difference between two photometric oscillations, linking these pulsation modes to the mass ejection mechanism for some outbursts. During the TESS observation time period of 2019 October 7 to 2019 November 2, the star was building a disc. With a large data setmore »of H α and H β spectroscopy, we are able to determine the time-scales of dissipation in both of these lines, similar to past work on Be stars that has been done with optical photometry. HD 6226 is an ideal target with which to study the Be disc-evolution given its apparent periodic nature, allowing for targeted observations with other facilities in the future.« less
  6. Context. Surface brightness-color relations (SBCRs) are widely used for estimating angular diameters and deriving stellar properties. They are critical to derive extragalactic distances of early-type and late-type eclipsing binaries or, potentially, for extracting planetary parameters of late-type stars hosting planets. Various SBCRs have been implemented so far, but strong discrepancies in terms of precision and accuracy still exist in the literature. Aims. We aim to develop a precise SBCR for early-type B and A stars using selection criteria, based on stellar characteristics, and combined with homogeneous interferometric angular diameter measurements. We also improve SBCRs for late-type stars, in particular in the Gaia photometric band. Methods. We observed 18 early-type stars with the VEGA interferometric instrument, installed on the CHARA array. We then applied additional criteria on the photometric measurements, together with stellar characteristics diagnostics in order to build the SBCRs. Results. We calibrated a SBCR for subgiant and dwarf early-type stars. The RMS of the relation is σ F V 0  = 0.0051 mag, leading to an average precision of 2.3% on the estimation of angular diameters, with 3.1% for V − K < −0.2 mag and 1.8% for V − K > −0.2 mag. We found that the conversion betweenmore »Johnson- K and 2MASS- K s photometries is a key issue for early-type stars. Following this result, we have revisited our previous SBCRs for late-type stars by calibrating them with either converted Johnson- K or 2MASS- K s photometries. We also improve the calibration of these SBCRs based on the Gaia photometry. The expected precision on the angular diameter using our SBCRs for late-type stars ranges from 1.0 to 2.7%. Conclusions. By reaching a precision of 2.3% on the estimation of angular diameters for early-type stars, significant progress has been made to determine extragalactic distances, such as M31 and M33 galaxies, using early-type eclipsing binaries.« less
  7. ABSTRACT We present updated orbital elements for the Wolf–Rayet (WR) binary WR 140 (HD 193793; WC7pd  + O5.5fc). The new orbital elements were derived using previously published measurements along with 160 new radial velocity measurements across the 2016 periastron passage of WR 140. Additionally, four new measurements of the orbital astrometry were collected with the CHARA Array. With these measurements, we derive stellar masses of $M_{\rm WR} = 10.31\pm 0.45 \, \mathrm{M}_\odot$ and $M_{\rm O} = 29.27\pm 1.14 \, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$. We also include a discussion of the evolutionary history of this system from the Binary Population and Spectral Synthesis model grid to show that this WR star likely formed primarily through mass-loss in the stellar winds, with only a moderate amount of mass lost or transferred through binary interactions.
  8. Context. FU Orionis is the archetypal FUor star, a subclass of young stellar objects (YSOs) that undergo rapid brightening events, often gaining between four and six magnitudes on timescales of days. This brightening is often associated with a massive increase in accretion, which is one of the most ubiquitous processes in astrophysics for bodies ranging from planets and stars to super-massive black holes. We present multi-band interferometric observations of the FU Ori circumstellar environment, including the first J -band interferometric observations of a YSO. Aims. We investigate the morphology and temperature gradient of the innermost regions of the accretion disk around FU Orionis. We aim to characterise the heating mechanisms of the disk and comment on potential outburst-triggering processes. Methods. Recent upgrades to the MIRC-X instrument at the CHARA array have allowed for the first dual-band J and H observations of YSOs. Using baselines up to 331 m, we present high-angular-resolution data of a YSO covering the near-infrared bands J , H , and K . The unprecedented spectral range of the data allowed us to apply temperature gradient models to the innermost regions of FU Ori. Results. We spatially resolved the innermost astronomical unit of the disk and determinemore »the exponent of the temperature gradient of the inner disk to T ∝ r −0.74 ± 0.02 . This agrees with theoretical works that predict T ∝ r −0.75 for actively accreting, steady-state disks, which is a value only obtainable through viscous heating within the disk. We found a disk that extends down to the stellar surface at 0.015 ± 0.007 au, where the temperature is found to be 5800 ± 700 K. We found a disk inclined at 32 ± 4° with a minor-axis position angle of 34 ± 11°. Conclusions. We demonstrate that J -band interferometric observations of YSOs are feasible with the MIRC-X instrument at CHARA. The temperature gradient power-law derived for the inner disk is consistent with theoretical predictions for steady-state, optically thick, viciously heated accretion disks.« less