Sunday, May 15, 2016

Hunting for Binaries in Transition Disks

Searching for spectroscopic binaries within transition disk objects


Kohn et al


Transition disks (TDs) are intermediate stage circumstellar disks characterized by an inner gap within the disk structure. To test whether these gaps may have been formed by closely orbiting, previously undetected stellar companions, we collected high-resolution optical spectra of 31 TD objects to search for spectroscopic binaries (SBs). Twenty-four of these objects are in Ophiuchus and seven are within the Coronet, Corona Australis, and Chameleon I star-forming regions. We measured radial velocities for multiple epochs, obtaining a median precision of 400 ms−1. We identified double-lined SB SSTc2d J163154.7-250324 in Ophiuchus, which we determined to be composed of a K7(±0.5) and a K9(±0.5) star, with orbital limits of a less than 0.6 AU and P less than 150 days. This results in an SB fraction of 0.04+0.12−0.03 in Ophiuchus, which is consistent with other spectroscopic surveys of non-TD objects in the region. This similarity suggests that TDs are not preferentially sculpted by the presence of close binaries and that planet formation around close binaries may take place over similar timescales to that around single stars.

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