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    We constrain the orbital period (Porb) distribution of low-mass detached main-sequence eclipsing binaries (EBs) with light-curves from the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), which provides a well-understood selection function and sensitivity to faint stars. At short periods (Porb ≲ 2 d), binaries are predicted to evolve significantly due to magnetic braking (MB), which shrinks orbits and ultimately brings detached binaries into contact. The period distribution is thus a sensitive probe of MB. We find that the intrinsic period distribution of low-mass (0.1 ≲ M1/M⊙ < 0.9) binaries is basically flat (${\rm d}N/{\rm d}P_{\rm orb} \propto P_{\rm orb}^0$) from Porb = 10 d down to the contact limit. This is strongly inconsistent with predictions of classical MB models based on the Skumanich relation, which are widely used in binary evolution calculations and predict ${\rm d}N/{\rm d}P_{\rm orb} \propto P_{\rm orb}^{7/3}$ at short periods. The observed distributions are best reproduced by models in which the magnetic field saturates at short periods with a MB torque that scales roughly as $\dot{J}\propto P_{\rm orb}^{-1}$, as opposed to $\dot{J} \propto P_{\rm orb}^{-3}$ in the standard Skumanich law. We also find no significant difference between the period distributions of binaries containing fully and partially convective stars. Our results confirmmore »that a saturated MB law, which was previously found to describe the spin-down of rapidly rotating isolated M dwarfs, also operates in tidally locked binaries. We advocate using saturated MB models in binary evolution calculations. Our work supports previous suggestions that MB in cataclysmic variables (CVs) is much weaker than assumed in the standard evolutionary model, unless mass transfer leads to significant additional angular momentum loss in CVs.

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  2. Abstract We present WDJ220838.73+454434.04 (hereafter WD2208+454), a wide, co-moving white dwarf companion to the eclipsing binary system, AR Lacertae. The companion was discovered through the Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 citizen science collaboration. It has a separation of 21.″9 on the sky from the central eclipsing pair, translating to a projected separation of ∼930 au. We present a review of the physical properties and orbital parameters of this new addition to the system.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 15, 2023
  3. Abstract

    M dwarfs are favorable targets for exoplanet detection with current instrumentation, but stellar companions can induce false positives and inhibit planet characterization. Knowledge of stellar companions is also critical to our understanding of how binary stars form and evolve. We have therefore conducted a survey of stellar companions around nearby M dwarfs, and here we present our new discoveries. Using the Differential Speckle Survey Instrument at the 4.3 m Lowell Discovery Telescope, and the similar NN-EXPLORE Exoplanet Stellar Speckle Imager at the 3.5 m WIYN telescope, we carried out a volume-limited survey of M-dwarf multiplicity to 15 parsecs, with a special emphasis on including the later M dwarfs that were overlooked in previous surveys. Additional brighter targets at larger distances were included for a total sample size of 1070 M dwarfs. Observations of these 1070 targets revealed 26 new companions; 22 of these systems were previously thought to be single. If all new discoveries are confirmed, then the number of known multiples in the sample will increase by 7.6%. Using our observed properties, as well as the parallaxes and 2MASSKmagnitudes for these objects, we calculate the projected separation, and estimate the mass ratio and component spectral types, for thesemore »systems. We report the discovery of a new M-dwarf companion to the white dwarf Wolf 672 A, which hosts a known M-dwarf companion as well, making the system trinary. We also examine the possibility that the new companion to 2MASS J13092185-2330350 is a brown dwarf. Finally, we discuss initial insights from the POKEMON survey.

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  4. Abstract We present the discovery of 34 comoving systems containing an ultracool dwarf found by means of the NOIRLab Source Catalog (NSC) DR2. NSC’s angular resolution of ∼ 1″ allows for the detection of small separation binaries with significant proper motions. We used the catalog’s accurate proper motion measurements to identify the companions by cross-matching a previously compiled list of brown dwarf candidates with NSC DR2. The comoving pairs consist of either a very low-mass star and an ultracool companion, or a white dwarf and an ultracool companion. The estimated spectral types of the primaries are in the K and M dwarf regimes, those of the secondaries in the M, L, and T dwarf regimes. We calculated angular separations between ∼2″ and ∼ 56″, parallactic distances between ∼43 and ∼261 pc, and projected physical separations between ∼169 and ∼8487 au. The lowest measured total proper motion is 97 mas yr −1 , with the highest 314 mas yr −1 . Tangential velocities range from ∼23 to ∼187 km s −1 . We also determined comoving probabilities, estimated mass ratios, and calculated binding energies for each system. We found no indication of possible binarity for any component of the 34 systemsmore »in the published literature. The discovered systems can contribute to the further study of the formation and evolution of low-mass systems as well as to the characterization of cool substellar objects.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 6, 2023