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An LBT search for companions to the lowest mass stars in Taurus

Presentation #339.05 in the session “Stars, Brown Dwarfs, and Binaries”.

Published onJan 11, 2021
An LBT search for companions to the lowest mass stars in Taurus

With the combination of exceptional sensitivity and resolution of the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) and the adaptive optics equipped LBTI/LMIRCam system, we have performed an L-band companion search program around 38 low mass members of the Taurus star-forming region. The targets have spectral types of M4 or later and were previously unobserved with high resolution imaging or have poor detection limits. A number of candidate companions, both stellar and substellar, have been identified with separations ranging from 10-400 AU. Example Taurus disk systems with planetary mass companions are known, however the frequency of these intriguing systems is unknown, and this survey has the sensitivity to detect companions with masses as low as 5Mjup from approximately 100AU. The targets have a range of disk properties, including Class II disks, transition disks, truncated disks, and diskless systems. All the systems have been characterized with far-IR measurements from Herschel, and a subset have ALMA continuum and gas line maps. By combining our new LBT results with previous companion search programs and our comprehensive Herschel survey for disks across the stellar/substellar boundary, we will investigate the effect of companions on disks, search for a new population of young substellar companions and correlate the results with the presence and properties of disks, and determine the binary star properties across the entire Taurus star-forming region. Among the new companions that have been identified, one is part of a transition disk system, and one is likely within a circumbinary disk.

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