Are All Hot Subdwarf Stars in Close Binaries?: Extreme Horizontal Branch Stars and Related Objects (Guest Editor: P.F.L. Maxted)

Authors: Wade, Richard A.1; Stark, M.A.2

Source: Astrophysics and Space Science, Volume 291, Number 3, 2004 , pp. 337-340(4)

Publisher: Springer

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Abstract:

We discuss whether the hypothesis that “all (or most) subdwarfs are in close binaries” is supported by the frequently reported observations of photometrically or spectroscopically composite character of many hot subdwarf stars. By way of a possible counter-argument, we focus on resolved companions (optical pairs) of hot subdwarf stars. On a statistical basis, many of these are physically associated with the hot subdwarfs, i.e. they are common proper motion pairs. These resolved pairs make a several percent contribution to the catalog of hot subdwarf stars per decade in projected separation. If they are just the relatively wide members of a binary population similar to the local G-dwarf binary population (A&A, 248, 485), which has a very wide distribution of orbital separations, then many of the unresolved but composite hot subdwarf binaries may not be “close” in the astrophysical sense. In that case, binary channels for hot subdwarf formation may be less important than expected, or must involve companions (white dwarfs) that do not result in a composite spectrum system.

Keywords: binaries; horizontal branch stars; subdwarfs

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/B:ASTR.0000044341.36911.e1

Affiliations: 1: Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, 525 Davey Lab, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA., Email: wade@astro.psu.edu 2: Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, 525 Davey Lab, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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