NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009A-0173

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Proposal Information for 2009A-0173


PI: Peter Allen, Pennsylvania State University, pallen@astro.psu.edu
Address: Astronomy Department, 525 Davey Lab, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA

CoI: Laird Close, University of Arizona

Title: A Survey for Faint, Close, Low-Mass Tertiaries to Nearby Spectroscopic Binaries

Abstract: We propose to use NGS AO Altair/NIRI imaging at Gemini-North to carry out a multi-epoch common proper motion survey of a carefully selected sample of 60 known nearby spectroscopic binaries for tertiary companions. Recent star formation simulations and observations have demonstrated that main sequence spectroscopic binaries have an enhanced wide (>30 AU) companion rate compared to single stars. This rate has been found to be from 60% to nearly 100% depending on the period of the spectroscopic binary. We will take advantage of this high tertiary companion rate to look for ultracool companions with separations from a few AU (>0.1") to a few hundred AU (<20"). This is an excellent "poor" sky condition project for Gemini to execute in non-photometric conditions, that will inform our models of star formation and possibly detect new nearby ultra-cool faint companions.


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