The Small Separation A-star Companion Population: First Results with CHARA/MIRC-X

Matthew De Furio, Tyler Gardner, John Monnier, Michael R. Meyer, Kaitlin Kratter, Gail Schaefer, Narsireddy Anugu, Claire L. Davies, Stefan Kraus, Cyprien Lanthermann, Jean Baptiste Le Bouquin, Jacob Ennis

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2 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present preliminary results from our long-baseline interferometry (LBI) survey to constrain the multiplicity properties of intermediate-mass A-type stars within 80 pc. Previous multiplicity studies of nearby stars exhibit orbital separation distributions well fitted with a lognormal with peaks >15 au, increasing with primary mass. The A-star multiplicity survey of De Rosa et al., sensitive beyond 30 au but incomplete below 100 au, found a lognormal peak around 390 au. Radial velocity surveys of slowly rotating, chemically peculiar Am stars identified a significant number of very close companions with periods ≤5 days, ∼0.1 au, a result similar to surveys of O- and B-type primaries. With the improved performance of LBI techniques, we can probe these close separations for normal A-type stars where other surveys are incomplete. Our initial sample consists of 27 A-type primaries with estimated masses between 1.44 and 2.49 M and ages 10-790 Myr, which we observed with the MIRC-X instrument at the CHARA Array. We use the open-source software CANDID to detect five companions, three of which are new, and derive a companion frequency of 0.19 − 0.06 + 0.11 over mass ratios of 0.25-1.0 and projected separations of 0.288-5.481 au. We find a probability of 10−6 that our results are consistent with extrapolations based on previous models of the A-star companion population over the mass ratios and separations sampled. Our results show the need to explore these very close separations to inform our understanding of stellar formation and evolution processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number118
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume941
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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