BD Andromedae: A New Short-period RS CVn Eclipsing Binary Star with a Distant Tertiary Body in a Highly Eccentric Orbit
A photometric study of BD And was made through the analysis of two sets of new BVR light curves. The light curves with migrating photometric waves outside eclipse show that BD And is a short-period RS CVn-type binary star. The analysis of all available timings reveals that the orbital period has varied in a strictly cyclical way with a period of 9.2 yr. The periodic variation most likely arises from the light-time effect due to a tertiary moving in a highly elliptical orbit (e 3 = 0.76). The Applegate mechanism could not operate properly in the eclipsing pair. The light curves were modeled with two large spots on the hotter star and a large third light amounting to about 14% of the total systemic light. BD And is a triple system: a detached binary system consisting of two nearly equal solar-type stars with an active primary star and a G6-G7 tertiary dwarf. The absolute dimensions of the eclipsing pair and tertiary components were determined. The three components with a mean age of about 5.8 Gyr are located at midpositions in main-sequence bands. The radius of the secondary is about 17% larger than that deduced from stellar models. The orbital and radiometric characteristics of the tertiary are intensively investigated. One important feature is that the mutual inclination between two orbits is larger than 60°, implying that Kozai cycles had occurred very efficiently in the past. The possible past and future evolutions of the BD And system, driven by KCTF and MBTF, are also discussed.