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Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik

Abteilung Astronomie

Sand 1, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany
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Preprint 04/15

Search with UVES and XSHOOTER for signatures of the low-mass secondary in the post common-envelope binary AA Dor

D. Hoyer (1), T. Rauch (1), K. Werner (1), P. H. Hauschildt (2), J.W. Kruk (3)

(1) Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen, Germany
(2) Hamburger Sternwarte, Hamburg, Germany
(3) NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, USA

To be published in: A&A

Abstract. AA Dor is a close, totally eclipsing, post common-envelope binary with an sdOB-type primary star and an extremely low-mass secondary star, located close to the mass limit of stable central hydrogen burning. Within error limits, it may either be a brown dwarf or a late M-type dwarf.
We aim to extract the secondary's contribution to the phase-dependent composite spectra. The spectrum and identified lines of the secondary decide on its nature.
In January 2014, we measured the phase-dependent spectrum of AA Dor with XSHOOTER over one complete orbital period. Since the secondary's rotation is presumable synchronized with the orbital period, its surface strictly divides into a day and night side. Therefore, we may obtain the spectrum of its cool side during its transit and of its hot, irradiated side close to its occultation. We developed the Virtual Observatory (VO) tool TLISA to search for weak lines of a faint companion in a binary system.
We identified 53 spectral lines of the secondary in the ultraviolet-blue, visual, and near-infrared XSHOOTER spectra that are strongest close to its occultation. We identified 57 (20 additional) lines in available UVES (Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph) spectra from 2001. The lines are mostly from C II-III and O II, typical for a low-mass star that is irradiated and heated by the primary. We verified the orbital period of P = 22597.033201 ± 0.00007 s and determined the orbital velocity Ksec = 232.9 (+16.6 / -6.5) km/s of the secondary. The mass of the secondary is Msec = 0.081 (+0.018 / -0.010) Msun and, hence, it is not possible to reliably determine a brown dwarf or an M-type dwarf nature.
Although we identified many emission lines of the secondary's irradiated surface, the resolution and signal-to-noise ratio of our UVES and XSHOOTER spectra are not good enough to extract a good spectrum of the secondary's nonirradiated hemisphere.
Key words: Stars: abundances, Stars: binaries: eclipsing, Stars: low-mass, Stars: individual: AA Dor, Stars: individual: LB 3459, virtual observatory tools

Preprint (73,72 Mb PDF file including figures)

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