A 3D Search for Companions to 12 Nearby M-Dwarfs
Davison et al
We present a carefully vetted equatorial (± 30∘ Decl.) sample of all known single (within 4'') mid M-dwarfs (M2.5V-M8.0V) extending out to 10 pc; their proximity and low masses make them ideal targets for planet searches. For this sample of 58 stars, we provide VJ, RKC, IKC photometry, new low dispersion optical (6000−9000\AA) spectra from which uniform spectral types are determined, multi-epoch Hα equivalent widths, and gravity sensitive NaI indices. For 12 of these 58 stars, strict limits are placed on the presence of stellar and sub-stellar companions, based on a pioneering program described here that utilizes precise infrared radial velocities and optical astrometric measurements in an effort to search for Jupiter-mass, brown dwarf and stellar-mass companions. Our infrared radial velocity precision using CSHELL at NASA's IRTF is ∼90 m s−1 over timescales from 13 days to 5 years. With our spectroscopic results the mean companion masses that we rule out of existence are 1.5 MJUP or greater in 10 day orbital periods and 7 MJUP or greater in 100 day orbital periods. We use these spectra to determine rotational velocities and absolute radial velocities of these twelve stars. Our mean astrometric precision using RECONS data from 0.9-m telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory is ∼3 milli-arcseconds over baselines ranging from 9 to 13 years. With our astrometric results the mean companion masses that we rule out of existence are greater than 11.5 MJUP with an orbital period of 4 years and greater than 7.5 MJUP with an orbital period of 8 years. Although we do not detect companions around our sub-sample of 12 stars, we demonstrate that our two techniques probe a regime that is commonly missed in other companion searches of late type stars.