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Astron. Astrophys. 327, 219-223

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The polarimetric orbit of Z Andromedae*

H.M. Schmid1,2 and H. Schild1

1Institut für Astronomie, ETH-Zentrum, CH-8092 Zürich, Switzerland,
2Landessternwarte Heidelberg-Königstuhl, D-69117 Heidelberg, Germany

Received 27 February 1997 / Accepted 4 April 1997


Repeated Raman line polarimetry of the Z And symbiotic system shows that both the percent polarization, and the polarization angle, are locked to the binary motion. It is thus possible to determine the otherwise unobservable system inclination and orbit orientation on the celestial sphere. We find an inclination of FORMULA and an orbit orientation FORMULA. Inserting the inclination in the previously known mass function yields a most likely mass of the stellar hot component of about 0.65 MFORMULA which is typical for a single white dwarf.

Key words: binaries: symbiotic - circumstellar matter - scattering - polarization - stars: individual: Z And

*Based on observations obtained with the William Herschel Telescope of the Royal Greenwich Observatory, La Palma, Canary Islands

Send offprint requests to: hschmid@lsw.uni-heidelberg.de (H.M. Schmid), or hschild@astro.phys.ethz.ch (H. Schild)

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: October 1, 1997
Last change: April 8, 1998