NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016B-0151

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Program Information for 2016B-0151


PI: Avi Shporer, CalTech-JPL, shporer@gps.caltech.edu
Address: 4800 Oak Grove Dr., Pasadena, CA 91109 USA

CoI: Keivan G Stassun, Vanderbilt U.
CoI: Simchon Faigler, Tel Aviv University
CoI: Tsevi Mazeh, Tel Aviv University
CoI: Tabetha S Boyajian, Yale U.
CoI: Andrej Prsa, Villanova U.
CoI: Lev Tal-Or, Institut f{$ddot{rm u}$}r Astrophysik, G{$ddot{rm o}$}ttingen

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. Despite a large observational effort during the last few decades, using hundreds of nights of telescope time, 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 novel algorithm, where these objects are identified in the large sample of high-quality {it Kepler} light curves, and WIYN/Hydra is used to confirm their nature via radial velocity monitoring. Our technique is sensitive to {it 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 explore the characteristics of the so-called brown-dwarf desert --- a paucity of short-period low- mass secondaries in the brown-dwarf mass range, orbiting G- and K-type stars --- and see how its characteristics change with the primary star's spectral type. This project is already ongoing and we ask for time here to bring it to completion.

Program Type: Standard/Galactic

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2016B):  WIYN/HYDR -- 3.5n on Sep 08 - Sep 11 2016, Sep 19 - Sep 21 2016


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016B-0151

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