Ellipsoidal Variability and Long Secondary Periods in MACHO Red Giant Stars
We present a period-luminosity-amplitude analysis of 5899 red giant and binary stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud, using publicly available observations of the MACHO project. For each star, we determined new periods, which were double-checked in order to exclude aliases and false periods. The period-luminosity relations confirm the existence of a short-period, small-amplitude P-L sequence at periods shortward of Seq. A. We point out that the widely accepted sequence of eclipsing binaries
... sing binaries between Seqs. C and D, known as Seq. E, does not exist. The correct position for Seq. E is at periods a factor of two greater, and the few stars genuinely lying between Seq. C and D are under-luminous Mira variables, presumably enshrouded in dust. The true Seq. E overlaps with the sequence of Long Secondary Periods (Seq. D) and their P-L relation is well described by a simple model assuming Roche geometry. The amplitudes of LSPs have properties that are different from both the pulsations and the ellipsoidal variations, but they are more similar to the former than the latter, arguing for pulsation rather than binarity as the origin of the LSP phenomenon.