NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009B-0213

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Proposal Information for 2009B-0213


PI: Peter Allen, Pennsylvania State University, pallen@astro.psu.edu
Address: Astronomy Department, 525 Davey Lab, University Park, PA 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 up to 46 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 a continuation of a 2009A program, and these observations will roughly double and complete our sample. 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. Also, we have already found several candidate companions in our early 2009A data reduction results. Some of those candidates are displayed in this proposal.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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