An analysis of the light curves of the early-type binary BF Aurigae


ASTROPHYSICS AND SPACE SCIENCE, vol.253, no.2, pp.265-274, 1997 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 253 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 1997
  • Doi Number: 10.1023/a:1000699618905
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.265-274
  • Erciyes University Affiliated: No


The UBV observations of the massive binary BF Aur were made at the Ankara University Observatory during 1988, 1989 and 1996. Asymmetry of the light curves, arising from unequal height of successive maxima, indicates that the system is active. By analysing these observations in the framework of the Roche model (including the presence of bright regions on the components) one obtains a semidetached configuration of the system, with the cooler secondary component filling its Roche lobe. The analysis of the light curves yields consistent solutions for mass ratio q = m(2)/m(1) somewhat less than one. The influence of the mass transfer on the change of the system-orbital-period is relatively small. The upward parabolic character of the O-C diagram (Zhang et al., 1993) indicates a mass transfer from the less massive secondary to the mon massive primary. This inturn requires the less massive secondary to fill its Roche lobe. This is consistent with our solution. Based on these facts we introduced the following working hypothesis. At the place where the gas stream from the secondary falls on the primary, relatively small in size but a high temperature contrast active hot-spot (hs) region is formed. As a result of the heating effect caused by the irradiation of the hot-spot region, on the secondary's side facing the hot spot a bright-spot (bs) region is formed. The bright-spot region is larger in size but with significantly lower temperature than the hot spot. This region can be treated as a 'reflection cap'. By analysing the light curves in the framework of this working hypothesis the basic parameters of the system and the active regions are estimated. The problem is solved in two stages: by obtaining a synthetic light curve in the case when the parameters of the corresponding Close Binary (CB) Roche model (Djurasevic, 1992a) are given a priori (the direct problem) and by determining the parameters of the given model for which the best fit between the synthetic light curve and the observations is achieved (the inverse problem) (Djurasevic, 1992b).