NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0448

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Proposal Information for 2011A-0448


PI: Brad N. Barlow, University of North Carolina, bbarlow@physics.unc.edu
Address: Department of Physics & Astronomy, CB 3255, Phillips Hall, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3255, USA

CoI: Stephan Geier, Dr. Remeis-Sternwarte, U. Erlangen-Nurnberg
CoI: Uli Heber, Dr. Remeis-Sternwarte, U. Erlangen-Nurnberg
CoI: Thomas Kupfer, Dr. Remeis-Sternwarte, U. Erlangen-Nurnberg
CoI: Lew Classen, Dr. Remeis-Sternwarte, U. Erlangen-Nurnberg

Title: The MUCHFUSS project -- Searching for the most massive companions to hot subdwarf stars

Abstract: Hot subdwarf B (sdB) stars with massive unseen companions, either massive white dwarfs, neutron stars, or black holes, are predicted by evolutionary theory and are starting to be uncovered observationally. Such systems are potential progenitors of Type Ia supernovae and even gamma-ray bursts without associated supernovae. Using the SDSS to search for sdB stars showing high radial and Galactic rest-frame velocities, we have discovered nearly 170 subdwarfs with velocities indicative of binary companions. We began a follow-up campaign in 2009 to solve for the orbital parameters of these systems and have solidified nine solutions to date. Characterizing the nature of these systems is important for understanding the formation channels leading to sdB stars and their role in forming Type Ia supernova and gamma-ray bursts. Here we propose follow-up spectroscopic observations of those candidates most likely to host massive companions with the goal of obtaining orbital solutions for at least 20 targets.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0448

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