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Title: Orbital parameters estimation for compact binary stars
Author: Longa-Peña, Penélope Alejandra
ISNI:       0000 0004 5370 5776
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2015
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Most stars in the Galaxy are found in multiple systems of two or more stars orbiting together. Two stars orbiting around their centre of mass are called binary stars. In close binary stars, the evolution of one star affects its companion and evolutionary expansion of one star allows for mass exchange between the components. In most cases, the material from the less massive star forms an accretion disc around the heavier companion that has evolved into a compact stellar remnant, the final state of stellar evolution. We call these systems compact binary stars (CBs). The study of CBs is key to the development of two fundamental phenomena: accretion and evolution of binary stars. Statistical information on CBs can be deduced by extracting common properties and characteristic system parameter distributions from observed data. But, despite being fundamental for a wide range of astronomical phenomena, our comprehension of their formation and evolution is still poor, mainly because of the limited knowledge of crucial orbital parameters. This lack of reliable orbital parameters estimation is mainly due to observational handicaps, namely, the accretion disc outshines the system components. Astronomers have developed different techniques to overcome this, but are often very dependant of the signal to noise ratio of the data or are only able to obtain via target of opportunity programs (wait until the target is brighter). The focus of this work is to test and develop techniques, based on indirect imaging methods, that can overcome the main observational handicaps to estimate orbital parameters of CBs. We combine these techniques with the exploitation of more “exotic” emission lines that trace the irradiated face of the donor star, namely Ca II NIR triplet and the Bowen blend. We made use of empirical properties of Doppler tomography to estimate the values of the phase zero Á0 and the velocity of the irradiated face of the secondary star (Kem). We then used synthetic models accounting for an irradiated secondary to fit our measured Kem and perform a K-correction to derive the radial velocity of the secondary K2. To derive K1, we used the centre of symmetry technique, testing its validity among several emission lines and the stability of the results depending on the selected area. Having strong constraints for K1 and K2, we find estimates for the mass ratio q. Furthermore, we developed a variation from the Doppler tomography secondary emission method to constrain the value of the systemic velocity ƴ. We derive meaningful uncertainties of these parameters with the bootstrap technique. Using these techniques, we have successfully set dynamical constraints on the radial velocities of the binary components of CBs and derived fundamental orbital parameters, including the mass ratio, using basic properties of Doppler tomography.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QB Astronomy ; QC Physics