NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016B-0286

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Program Information for 2016B-0286


PI: Brian Mazur, U. of Toledo, brian.mazur@rockets.utoledo.edu
Address: Physics Department, 2801 West Bancroft Street, Toledo, OH 43606 US

CoI: Tom Megeath, U. of Toledo
CoI: Will Fischer, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Title: J, H and K Photometry of 300 - 1000 AU Companions to Young Stellar Objects in Orion

Abstract: We propose an investigation into the nature of faint companions found around young stellar objects in Orion. A HST NICMOS/WFC3 survey of 374 protostars and pre-main sequence stars in Orion found 56 candidate companions at 100-1000 AU. Recent SpeX/IRTF observations of the $m_H < 14.5$ mag companions at 400-1000 AU showed that 5/13 companions and 5/13 primaries have deep water features characteristic of M6.5-M9 spectral types and are likely to be at the Hydrogen burning limit or below. We propose Spartan $J$, $H$ and $Ks$ photometry of the companions at separations of 300-1000 AU. These data will provide essential photometry for an ongoing program of near-IR spectroscopy. The photometry is essential to correct for reddening, obtain accurate luminosities, and place the primaries and companions on the HR diagram. With these data we can constrain the companion mass function and identify substellar sources. These observations will probe the formation mechanism of the companions, and test whether these faint objects may arise in fragmenting disks. This of particular interest since we find an increased frequency of companions in regions of high stellar density in Orion, suggesting that the formation of companions is enhanced in environments of high star and gas density.

Program Type: Standard/Galactic

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2016B):  SOAR/Spartan -- 3n on Jan 13 - Jan 15 2017


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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