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Roche-lobe filling factor of mass-transferring red giants: the PIONIER view

Abstract : Using the PIONIER visitor instrument that combines the light of the four Auxiliary Telescopes of ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer, we precisely measure the diameters of several symbiotic and related stars: HD 352, HD 190658, V1261 Ori, ER Del, FG Ser, and AG Peg. These diameters - in the range of 0.6-2.3 milli-arcsec - are used to assess the filling factor of the Roche lobe of the mass-losing giants and provide indications on the nature of the ongoing mass transfer. We also provide the first spectroscopic orbit of ER Del, based on CORAVEL and HERMES/Mercator observations. The system is found to have an eccentric orbit with a period of 5.7 years. In the case of the symbiotic star FG Ser, we find that the diameter changes by 13% over the course of 41 days, while the observations of HD 352 are indicative of an elongation. Both these stars are found to have a Roche filling factor close to 1, as is most likely the case for HD 190658 as well, while the three other stars have factors below 0.5-0.6. Our observations reveal the power of interferometry for the study of interacting binary stars; the main limitation in our conclusions is the poorly known distances of the objects.

Table 7 and Figs. 9-18 are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

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H. M. J. Boffin, M. Hillen, J. P. Berger, A. Jorissen, N. Blind, et al.. Roche-lobe filling factor of mass-transferring red giants: the PIONIER view. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2014, 564, ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/201323194⟩. ⟨insu-03618591⟩

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