NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2015A-0191

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Proposal Information for 2015A-0191


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

CoI: Simchon Faigler, Tel Aviv University
CoI: Lev Tal-Or, Tel Aviv University
CoI: Tsevi Mazeh, Tel Aviv University
CoI: Andrej Prsa, Villanova University
CoI: Tabetha Boyajian, Yale University
CoI: Keivan Stassun, Vanderbilt University

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 Kepler light curves, and use WIYN/Hydra 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 test 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 spectral type.


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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