(ORDO NEWS) — Researchers recently discovered 12 semi-separated massive mass-transfer binaries out of a total set of 437 eclipsing binaries in the Andromeda galaxy (M31).
The secondary (less massive) components filled their Roche cavities, while the more massive components were separated from the cavities.
M31 is the closest spiral galaxy to the Milky Way and the largest galaxy in the Local Group. In structure and metallicity, it is close to the Milky Way.
Since the M31 galaxy is very close to the Earth, most of the eclipsing binaries found in the M31 galaxy are massive binaries, and only a few of them have been studied to determine the distance modulus.
Therefore, astronomers have not developed a clear understanding of how close the structural characteristics and evolutionary state of these binary stars are in relation to similar binary systems of the Milky Way.
In the new study, the scientists found that the relationship between the mass ratio and the filling factor for the primary star indicates a stage of slow mass transfer from less massive components to companion stars.
At the same time, the temperature distribution between the primary and secondary stars in these binaries is similar to the temperature distribution in the semi-separated binary star systems of the Milky Way.
These facts indicate that the evolution of massive binaries in the M31 galaxy is similar to the evolution of systems in the Milky Way, and this is a valuable test of the evolutionary models of mass transfer in massive binaries.
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