Occultations from an Active Accretion Disk in a 72-day Detached Post-Algol System Detected by K2

G. Zhou*, S. Rappaport, L. Nelson, C. X. Huang, A. Senhadji, J. E. Rodriguez, A. Vanderburg, S. Quinn, C. I. Johnson, D. W. Latham, G. Torres, B. L. Gary, T. G. Tan, M. C. Johnson, J. Burt, M. H. Kristiansen, T. L. Jacobs, D. LaCourse, H. M. Schwengeler, I. TerentevA. Bieryla, G. A. Esquerdo, P. Berlind, M. L. Calkins, J. Bento, W. D. Cochran, M. Karjalainen, A. P. Hatzes, R. Karjalainen, B. Holden, R. P. Butler

*Corresponding author for this work

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Disks in binary systems can cause exotic eclipsing events. MWC 882 (BD –22 4376, EPIC 225300403) is such a disk-eclipsing system identified from observations during Campaign 11 of the K2 mission. We propose that MWC 882 is a post-Algol system with a B7 donor star of mass in a 72-day orbit around an A0 accreting star of mass . The disk around the accreting star occults the donor star once every orbit, inducing 19-day long, 7% deep eclipses identified by K2 and subsequently found in pre-discovery All-Sky Automated Survey and All Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae observations. We coordinated a campaign of photometric and spectroscopic observations for MWC 882 to measure the dynamical masses of the components and to monitor the system during eclipse. We found the photometric eclipse to be gray to ≈1%. We found that the primary star exhibits spectroscopic signatures of active accretion, and we observed gas absorption features from the disk during eclipse. We suggest that MWC 882 initially consisted of a ≈3.6 M⊙ donor star transferring mass via Roche lobe overflow to a ≈2.1 M⊙ accretor in a ≈7-day initial orbit. Through angular momentum conservation, the donor star is pushed outward during mass transfer to its current orbit of 72 days. The observed state of the system corresponds with the donor star having left the red giant branch ∼0.3 Myr ago, terminating active mass transfer. The present disk is expected to be short-lived (102 yr) without an active feeding mechanism, presenting a challenge to this model.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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