Multiwavelength optical observations of chromospherically active binary systems III: high resolution echelle spectra from Ca II H& K to Ca III RT

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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 Hα 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 Hα 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_(Hα) / E_(Hβ) 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_(8542) / E_(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.
© European Southern Observatory (ESO), 2000. We would like to thank Dr. L.W. Ramsey for collaborating in the McDonald observing run and the staff of McDonald observatory for their allocation of observing time and their assistance with our observations. We would like to thank Dr. B.H. Foing for allow us to use the ESA-MUSICOS spectrograph at Isaac Newton Telescope. We would also like to thank the referee S. Catalano for suggesting several improvements and clarifications. This work has been supported by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and the Spanish Dirección General de Enseñanza Superior e Investigación Científica (DGESIC) under grant PB97-0259.
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