NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2012B-0214

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Proposal Information for 2012B-0214


PI: Brad N. Barlow, Pennsylvania State University, bbarlow@psu.edu
Address: Astronomy Department, 525 Davey Lab, University Park, PA 16802, USA

CoI: S. Geier, Dr. Remeis-Sternwarte, U. Erlangen-Nurnberg
CoI: U. Heber, Dr. Remeis-Sternwarte, U. Erlangen-Nurnberg
CoI: T. Kupfer, Dr. Remeis-Sternwarte, U. Erlangen-Nurnberg
CoI: V. Schaffenroth, Dr. Remeis-Sternwarte, U. Erlangen-Nurnberg

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

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 127 subdwarfs with velocity shifts indicative of binary companions. We began a follow-up campaign in 2009 to solve for the orbital parameters of these systems. Characterizing the nature of sdB binaries 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, compact companions with the goal of obtaining orbital solutions and companion masses for at least 20 targets. These observations would help us complete the Southern-hemisphere portion of our survey.


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