We introduce the class of intermediate mass binaries named Double Periodic Variables (DPVs), characterized by orbital photometric variability (ellipsoidal or eclipsing) in time scales of few days and a long photometric cycle lasting roughly 33 times the orbital period. After a search conducted in the OGLE and ASAS catalogues, we identified 114 of these systems in the Magellanic Clouds and 11 in the Galaxy. We present results of our photometric and spectroscopic campaigns on DPVs conducted during the last years, outlining their main observational characteristics. We present convincing evidence supporting the view that DPVs are semidetached interacting binaries with optically thick discs around the gainer, that experience regular cycles of mass loss into the interstellar medium. The mechanism regulating this long-term process still is unknown but probably is related to relaxation cycles of the circumprimary disc. A key observational fact is the modulation of the FWHM of He I 5875 with the long cycle in V 393 Sco. The DPV evolution stage is investigated along with their relationship to Algols and W Serpentid stars. We conclude that DPVs can be used to test models of non-conservative binary evolution including the formation of circumbinary discs.
Binaries - Key to Comprehension of the Universe
- Pub Date:
- December 2010
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
- To appear in ASP Conference Series special issue: "Binaries: Key to Comprehension of the Universe"