The Mass of the Cepheid Binary V636 Scorpii

E. Bohm‐Vitense, N. R. Evans, K. Carpenter, Michael D. Albrow, P. L. Cottrell, R. Robinson, B. Beck‐Winchatz
1998 Astrophysical Journal  
The mass-luminosity relation for Cepheids depends on the degree of mixing in their main-sequence progenitors. Masses of Cepheids can be inferred by using di †erent aspects of pulsation theory. These methods have in the past led to diverging results, showing that something was wrong in either evolution theory or pulsation theory or both. For some binary Cepheids dynamical masses, which are independent of pulsation and evolution theories, can be determined. V636 Sco is one of a handful of Cepheid
more » ... binaries whose companions are bright enough in the ultraviolet that orbital radial velocities can be measured. We have here attempted to determine the radial velocity of the companion V636 Sco B to the Cepheid V636 Sco A by means of two Hubble Space T elescope (HST ) spectra taken at phases of minimum and maximum Cepheid orbital velocities. The ratio of the orbital velocity of the companion and the Cepheid (which is the inverse of their mass ratio) came out to be 1.25^0.17. V636 Sco B has a spectral type B9.5 V, for which we expect a stellar mass of 2.5 For the Cepheid we thus determine a mass of 3.1^0.4 M _ . which is surprisingly low. If true, such a low mass would indicate an extremely large amount of M _ , excess mixing, which is very unlikely. We discuss the likely possibility that V636 Sco B may itself be a binary with an unseen secondary, in which case the mass derived from the two measurements discussed above is not correct. Although the error limits for the mass of each Cepheid are rather large, the combined mass-luminosity relation for all Cepheids studied by us so far by means of HST spectra indicates excess mixing corresponding to core convective overshoot by 0.25 to about 0.5 pressure scale height in the main-sequence progenitors of the Cepheids.
doi:10.1086/306177 fatcat:3777igzn7jd3nb4dl545cytpbq