Automated analysis of eclipsing binary light curves - II. Statistical analysis of OGLE LMC eclipsing binaries

Mazeh, T. ; Tamuz, O. ; North, P.

In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2006, vol. 367, no. 4, p. 1531-1542

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    In the first paper of this series, we presented EBAS - Eclipsing Binary Automated Solver, a new fully automated algorithm to analyse the light curves of eclipsing binaries, based on the ebop code. Here, we apply the new algorithm to the whole sample of 2580 binaries found in the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE) Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) photometric survey and derive the orbital elements for 1931 systems. To obtain the statistical properties of the short-period binaries of the LMC, we construct a well-defined subsample of 938 eclipsing binaries with main-sequence B-type primaries. Correcting for observational selection effects, we derive the distributions of the fractional radii of the two components and their sum, the brightness ratios and the periods of the short-period binaries. Somewhat surprisingly, the results are consistent with a flat distribution in log P between 2 and 10 d. We also estimate the total number of binaries in the LMC with the same characteristics, and not only the eclipsing binaries, to be about 5000. This figure leads us to suggest that (0.7 ± 0.4) per cent of the main-sequence B-type stars in the LMC are found in binaries with periods shorter than 10 d. This frequency is substantially smaller than the fraction of binaries found by small Galactic radial-velocity surveys of B stars. On the other hand, the binary frequency found by Hubble Space Telescope (HST) photometric searches within the late main-sequence stars of 47 Tuc is only slightly higher and still consistent with the frequency we deduced for the B stars in the LMC