全部 标题 作者
关键词 摘要

Physics  2009 

The Past and Future History of Regulus

DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/698/1/666

Full-Text   Cite this paper   Add to My Lib

Abstract:

We show how the recent discovery of a likely close white dwarf companion to the well known star Regulus, one of the brightest stars in the sky, leads to considerable insight into the prior evolutionary history of this star, including the cause of its current rapid rotation. We infer a relatively narrow range for the initial masses of the progenitor system: M_{10} = 2.3 +/- 0.2 M_sun and M_{20} = 1.7 +/- 0.2 M_sun, where M_{10} and M_{20} are the initial masses of the progenitors of the white dwarf and Regulus, respectively. In this scenario, the age of the Regulus system would exceed 1 Gyr. We also show that Regulus, with a current orbital period of 40 days, has an interesting future ahead of it. This includes (i) a common envelope phase, and, quite possibly, (ii) an sdB phase, followed by (iii) an AM CVn phase with orbital periods < 1 hr. Binary evolution calculations are presented in support of this scenario. We also discuss alternative possibilities, emphasizing the present uncertainties in binary evolution theory. Thus, this one particular star system illustrates many different aspects of binary stellar evolution.

Full-Text

comments powered by Disqus