The BANANA project. IV. two aligned stellar rotation axes in the young eccentric binary system EP crucis: Primordial orientation and tidal alignment

Simon Albrecht, Johny Setiawan, Guillermo Torres, Daniel C. Fabrycky, Joshua N. Winn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

With observations of the EP Cru system, we continue our series of measurements of spin-orbit angles in eclipsing binary star systems, the BANANA project (Binaries Are Not Always Neatly Aligned). We find a close alignment between the sky projections of the rotational and orbital angular momentum vectors for both stars (βp = -1.°8 ± 1.°6 and |βs| < 17°). We also derive precise absolute dimensions and stellar ages for this system. The EP Cru and DI Her systems provide an interesting comparison: they have similar stellar types and orbital properties, but DI Her is younger and has major spin-orbit misalignments, raising the question of whether EP Cru also had a large misalignment at an earlier phase of evolution. We show that tidal dissipation is an unlikely explanation for the good alignment observed today, because realignment happens on the same timescale as spin-orbit synchronization, and the stars in EP Cru are far from synchronization (they are spinning nine times too quickly). Therefore it seems that some binaries form with aligned axes, while other superficially similar binaries are formed with misaligned axes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number32
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume767
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 10 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Keywords

  • binaries: eclipsing
  • stars: early-type
  • stars: formation
  • stars: individual (EP Crucis, DI Herculis)
  • stars: kinematics and dynamics
  • stars: rotation
  • techniques: spectroscopic

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