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Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. Ser. 146, 103-140

Multiwavelength optical observations of chromospherically active binary systems

III. High resolution echelle spectra from Ca  II H & K to Ca  II IRT[*][*]

D. Montes1,2 - M.J. Fernández-Figueroa1 - E. De Castro1 - M. Cornide1 - A. Latorre1 - J. Sanz-Forcada1,3

Send offprint request: D. Montes

Correspondence to: e-mail:

1 - Departamento de Astrofísica, Facultad de Ciencias Físicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, E-28040 Madrid, Spain
2 - Guest observer at McDonald Observatory, Texas, U.S.A.
3 - Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

Received April 10; accepted July 3, 2000


This is the third paper of a series aimed at studying the chromosphere of active binary systems using the information provided for several optical spectroscopic features. High resolution echelle spectra including all the optical chromospheric activity indicators from the Ca  II H & K to Ca  II IRT lines are analysed here for 16 systems. The chromospheric contribution in these lines has been determined using the spectral subtraction technique. Very broad wings have been found in the subtracted H$\alpha $ profile of the very active star HU Vir. These profiles are well matched using a two-component Gaussian fit (narrow and broad) and the broad component can be interpreted as arising from microflaring. Red-shifted absorption features in the H$\alpha $ line have been detected in several systems and excess emission in the blue wing of FG UMa was also detected. These features indicate that several dynamical processes, or a combination of them, may be involved. Using the $E_{\rm H\alpha}/E_{\rm H\beta}$ ratio as a diagnostic we have detected prominence-like extended material viewed off the limb in many stars of the sample, and prominences viewed against the disk at some orbital phases in the dwarfs OU Gem and BF Lyn. The He  I D3 line has been detected as an absorption feature in mainly all the giants of the sample. Total filling-in of the He  I D3, probably due to microflaring activity, is observed in HU Vir. Self-absorption with red asymmetry is detected in the Ca  II H & K lines of the giants 12 Cam, FG UMa and BM CVn. All the stars analysed show clear filled-in Ca  II IRT lines or even notable emission reversal. The small values of the $E_{\rm 8542}/E_{\rm 8498}$ ratio we have found indicate Ca  II IRT emission arises from plage-like regions. Orbital phase modulation of the chromospheric emission has been detected in some systems, in the case of HU Vir evidence of an active longitude area has been found.

Key words: stars: activity -- stars: binaries: close -- stars: binaries: spectroscopic -- stars: chromospheres -- stars: late-type

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