Ten eclipsing binaries in the Small Magellanic Cloud: fundamental parameters and Cloud distance
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Oxford University Press (OUP) / Royal Astronomical Society
© 2003 RAS
We present the first results of an observational programme to measure the fundamental parameters of over 100 eclipsing binaries in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). The spectroscopic data have been obtained by using the two degree field (2dF) multi-object spectrograph on the 3.9-m Anglo-Australian Telescope, and have been used in conjunction with photometry from the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE) data base of SMC eclipsing binaries. In this first paper, we discuss 10 systems: three are detached early-B binaries, six are in a semi-detached configuration, and one is in a marginal contact state. We conclude that the semi-detached systems are undergoing the slow mass-transfer phase of case-A binary evolution, in which the mass donor has reached its Roche lobe while still on the main sequence. Each system provides a primary distance indicator. By constructing a new calibration between spectral type and temperature for O and early B stars, we find a mean distance modulus to the SMC of 18.89±0.04 (statistical) ±0.10 (systematic). This value represents one of the most precise determinations to date of the distance to the SMC.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from OUP via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 339 (1), pp. 157 - 172