Physical orbit for Virginis and a test of stellar evolution models

M. Zhao, J. D. Monnier, G. Torres, A. F. Boden, A. Claret, R. Millan-Gabet, E. Pedretti, J.-P. Berger, W. A. Traub, F. P. Schloerb, N. P. Carleton, P. Kern, M. G. Lacasse, F. Malbet, K. Perraut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


The star ¿ Virginis is a well-known double-lined spectroscopic Am binary with the interesting property that both stars are very similar in abundance but one is sharp-lined and the other is broad-lined. We present combined interferometric and spectroscopic studies of Vir. The small scale of the Vir orbit (~20 mas) is well resolved by the Infrared Optical Telescope Array (IOTA), allowing us to determine its elements, as well as the physical properties of the components, to high accuracy. The masses of the two stars are determined to be 1.897 and 1.721 M solar, with 0.7% and 1.5% errors,respectively, and the two stars are found to have the same temperature of 8280+/-200 K. The accurately determined properties of Viral low comparisons between observations and current stellar evolution models, and reasonable matches are found. The best-fit stellar model gives ¿ Vir a subsolar metallicity of Z=0.0097 and an age of 935Myr. The orbital and physical parameters of ¿ Vir also allow us to study its tidal evolution timescales and status. Although atomic diffusion is currently considered to be the most plausible cause of the Am phenomenon, the issue is still being actively debated in the literature. With the present study of the properties and evolutionary status of ¿ Vir, this system is an ideal candidate for further detailed abundance analyses that might shed more light on the source of the chemical anomalies in these A stars.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)626-641
Number of pages16
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2007


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