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Session 43 - Binary Stars.
Display session, Tuesday, January 16
North Banquet Hall, Convention Center

[43.09] The Most Curious Case of Plaskett's Star: Two Views

D. J. Barry (GSU and UT-Austin/McDonald Obs.), W. G. Bagnuolo (GSU/CHARA)

The binary HD 47129, with a presumed record mass function f(M) = 12.6 M_\sun, has resisted consensus analysis since its discovery in 1922. The latest chapter began when one of us (Bagnuolo) participated in a tomographic analysis of phase-separated UV spectra of the individual components of the system, claiming reconstruction of photospheric-like spectra of the individual components which were analyzed by the usual methods. One of us (Underhill) criticized this view, arguing that the strong wind features in the spectrum indicate the existence of an almost optically thick wind/plasma surrounding the system, mimicing Keplerian motion and photospheric features, and thereby simulating an anomalously large mass function. Two of us (Barry and Bagnuolo) have now attempted another tomographic analysis of the system in the visible with data from our new 1-m Multi-Telescope Telescope (MTT), and claim further support for our earlier viewpoint.

We join the debate in its present form, and from the totality of the recent high SNR spectra, present arguments regarding the structure of this interesting system.

Program listing for Tuesday