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Astron. Astrophys. 352, 177-181 (1999)

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Discovery of the variable phase-locked polarization in LZ Cephei

Andrei V. Berdyugin 1,2,3 and Tim J. Harries 4

1 Astronomy Division, University of Oulu, Linnanmaa, PL 3000, 90401 Oulu, Finland,
2 Tuorla Observatory, University of Turku, Väisäläntie 20, 21500 Piikkiö, Finland
3 Crimean Astrophysical Observatory, P.O. Nauchny, Crimea 334413, Ukraine
4 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK

Received 16 June 1999 / Accepted 12 October 1999


The early-type non-eclipsing binary LZ Cep has been observed with the UBVRI polarimeter during 25 nights in 1996-1997. A variable phase-locked linear polarization has been found. The principal Fourier components of the observed variations are the second harmonics of the orbital period. The most probable explanation of this variability is reflection of the radiation from each component of the binary off the facing hemisphere of its companion. We have constructed a simple numerical model of the reflection process which is capable of reproducing the amplitude and phase dependence of the polarized light-curve.

Key words: stars: binaries: close – stars: early-type – stars: individual: LZ Cep

Send offprint requests to: A.V. Berdyugin (andrei@ukko.oulu.fi)

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: November 23, 1999