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Astron. Astrophys. 345, 137-148 (1999)

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1. Introduction

AW UMa (HD 99946) is a bright (Vmax=6.84) totally eclipsing A-type W UMa system of spectral type F0-2 (B-V=0.36) with orbital period P = 0.43873 days. The inclination angle of the orbit is [FORMULA] 79o. AW UMa is considered as the system with the smallest mass ratio q [FORMULA] 0.075 among all contact binaries, so it is very interesting from the evolutionary point of view.

Since its discovery by Paczynski (1964), AW UMa was studied photometrically by many authors (for references see Bakos et al., 1991 and Demircan et al., 1992), spectroscopically (Paczynski, 1964; Mochnacki & Doughty, 1972; McLean, 1981; Rensing et al., 1985 and Rucinski, 1992) and polarimetrically (Oschepkov, 1974; Piirola, 1975). A discussion of the most important previous results relevant to our study is given in the appropriate sections.

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: April 12, 1999