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Astron. Astrophys. 318, 171-178 (1997)

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Evidence of thermal disequilibrium in contact binaries

H. Kähler

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

Received 1 May 1996 / Accepted 3 July 1996


We present a test which is sufficient to disprove thermal equilibrium in observed contact binaries. The test is applied to a number of systems with good spectroscopic data. All of them are shown to be in thermal imbalance. Accordingly, many (possibly all) contact binaries evolve on a thermal time-scale, probably in thermal cycles as proposed by Lucy (1976) and Flannery (1976).

Key words: stars – binaries – close

SIMBAD Objects


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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: July 8, 1998