Zeta Aquarii is a bright and nearby (28 pc) triple star with a 26-year astrometric subsystem. Almost one-half of the outer 540-year visual orbit has been covered in 238 years of its observations. Both inner and outer orbits are revised here taking into account recent direct resolution of the inner pair Aa,Ab. The inner orbit has a high eccentricity of 0.87 and is inclined to the outer orbit by 140° ± 10°, suggesting that Kozai-Lidov cycles take place. The masses of the stars Aa, B, and Ab are 1.4, 1.4, and 0.6 solar. The age of the system is about 3 Gyr, and the two main components have just left the main sequence. Hypothetically, this system could have formed by a dynamical capture of the small star Ab in the twin binary Aa,B.Based on observations obtained at the Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope.
The Astrophysical Journal
- Pub Date:
- November 2016
- binaries: visual;
- stars: individual: Zeta Aqr;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
- Accepted for publication in the Astronomical Journal. 9 pages, 5 figures. Complete Table 3 is available from the author