The banana project. V. Misaligned and precessing stellar rotation axes in CV Velorum

Simon Albrecht, Joshua N. Winn, Guillermo Torres, Daniel C. Fabrycky, Johny Setiawan, Michaël Gillon, Emmanuel Jehin, Amaury Triaud, Didier Queloz, Ignas Snellen, Peter Eggleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


As part of the Binaries Are Not Always Neatly Aligned project (BANANA), we have found that the eclipsing binary CV Velorum has misaligned rotation axes. Based on our analysis of the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect, we find sky-projected spin-orbit angles of βp = -52° ± 6°and βs = 3°± 7°for the primary and secondary stars (B2.5V + B2.5V, P = 6.9 days). We combine this information with several measurements of changing projected stellar rotation speeds (vsin i *) over the last 30 yr, leading to a model in which the primary star's obliquity is ≈65°, and its spin axis precesses around the total angular momentum vector with a period of about 140 yr. The geometry of the secondary star is less clear, although a significant obliquity is also implicated by the observed time variations in the vsin i *. By integrating the secular tidal evolution equations backward in time, we find that the system could have evolved from a state of even stronger misalignment similar to DI Herculis, a younger but otherwise comparable binary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number83
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 20 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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


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