NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014A-0454

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Proposal Information for 2014A-0454


PI: Avi Shporer, Caltech, shporer@gps.caltech.edu
Address: Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, 1200 East California Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

CoI: Tsevi Mazeh, Tel Aviv University
CoI: Andrej Prsa, Villanova University
CoI: Simchon Faigler, Tel Aviv University
CoI: Tabetha Boyajian, Yale University
CoI: Robert Mathieu, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Title: Studying low-mass short-period binary companions to stars across the main sequence

Abstract: Detecting short-period low-mass binary companions, with mass around the hydrogen burning threshold, is difficult. So difficult that despite a large observational effort during the last few decades, their number is still small. The scarcity of these objects, at the low-mass tail of short-period secondaries, represents a gap in our understanding of binary star formation and orbital evolution. Clearly there is a need for a new approach, using a reasonable amount of telescope time per detection. We propose to use a new novel algorithm, where these objects are identified in the large sample of high quality Kepler light curves, and use WIYN/Hydra to confirm their nature via radial velocity monitoring. Our technique is sensitive to non-eclipsing systems, which are at least an order of magnitude more frequent than eclipsing ones, thereby allowing us to detect a large number of relatively rare systems, with low mass secondaries. This in turn will allow us to test the nature of the so-called brown dwarf desert --- a paucity of short-period low-mass secondaries in the brown dwarf mass range, orbiting G-type stars --- and see how its characteristics change with the primary spectral type. We ask for a small amount of time here, which we will complement during the next semester, still within the same Kepler observing season.


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



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014A-0454

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