The 2011 Periastron Passage of the Be Binary d Scorpii

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Anatoly S. Miroshnichenko, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: We describe the results of the world-wide observing campaign of the highly eccentric Be binary system d Scorpii 2011 periastron passage which involved professional and amateur astronomers. Our spectroscopic observations provided a precise measurement of the system orbital period at 10.8092 ± 0.0005 yr. Fitting of the He?ii 4686?Å line radial velocity curve determined the periastron passage time on 2011 July 3, UT 9:20 with a 0.9-day uncertainty. Both these results are in a very good agreement with recent findings from interferometry. We also derived new evolutionary masses of the binary components (13 and 8.2?M?) and a new distance of 136 pc from the Sun, consistent with the HIPPARCOS parallax. The radial velocity and profile variations observed in the Ha line near the 2011 periastron reflected the interaction of the secondary component and the circumstellar disk around the primary component. Using these data, we estimated a disk radius of 150?R?. Our analysis of the radial velocity variations measured during the periastron passage time in 2000 and 2011 along with those measured during the 20th century, the high eccentricity of the system, and the presence of a bow shock-like structure around it suggest that d Sco might be a runaway triple system. The third component should be external to the known binary and move on an elliptical orbit that is tilted by at least 40° with respect to the binary orbital plane for such a system to be stable and responsible for the observed long-term radial velocity variations.

Additional Information

The Astrophysical Journal, 766(2)
Language: English
Date: 2013
binaries: spectroscopic, stars: emission-line, Be, stars: individual: d Sco

Email this document to