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Astron. Astrophys. 320, 787-790 (1997)

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The energy balance in contact binaries

H. Kähler

Hamburger Sternwarte, Gojenbergsweg 112, D-21029 Hamburg, Germany

Received 13 June 1996 / Accepted 23 August 1996


We derive the global energy balance in contact binaries evolving on a thermal time-scale, including the semi-detached phase. Effects of accretion and rotation are taken into account. Within the framework of standard assumptions (uniform rotation, conservation of mass and angular momentum, spherically averaged components, each of them in hydrostatic equilibrium) the discussion is exact.

Key words: stars – binaries – close

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: June 30, 1998