NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2003B-0085

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Proposal Information for 2003B-0085


PI: Michele Stark, The Pennsylvania State University, stark@astro.psu.edu
Address: Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 525 Davey Lab, University Park, PA 16802, USA

CoI: Richard Wade, The Pennsylvania State University

Title: Determining the Properties of Hot Subdwarf Star Composite Binaries

Abstract: Hot subdwarf (sdB) stars are believed to be the field equivalent of the extended horizontal branch stars seen in some globular clusters. Using 2MASS, we have identified a large sample of sdB stars that exhibit infrared colors which can be attributed to the presence of an unresolved late-type companions of G-K spectral type. The presence of companions is expected if the post-main sequence mass loss of these stars is due to binary interactions. We propose to obtain moderate resolution spectra for a subset of these stars over 4500-9000A in order to study features from the late-type companion of the sdB stars. We will use the Ca II IR triplet (8498, 8542, 8662A), the Na I D doublet (5889, 5895A), and the Mg I b triplet (5167, 5172, 5183A) from the late- type companion, along with existing photometry, to decompose the composite sdB+late-type spectrum and determine the spectral type, luminosity class, and fraction of the total light contributed by the late-type component. Using this information on the late-type component, we can constrain the luminosity of sdB stars independent of any uncertainties in the modeling of the subdwarf's spectrum, along with providing constraints on the age, progenitor initial mass, and total post-main sequence mass loss of the sdB star.


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