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  1. Abstract

    Classical Be stars are possible products of close binary evolution, in which the mass donor becomes a hot, stripped O- or B-type subdwarf (sdO/sdB), and the mass gainer spins up and grows a disk to become a Be star. While several Be+sdO binaries have been identified, dynamical masses and other fundamental parameters are available only for a single Be+sdO system, limiting the confrontation with binary evolution models. In this work, we present direct interferometric detections of the sdO companions of three Be stars—28 Cyg, V2119 Cyg, and 60 Cyg—all of which were previously found in UV spectra. For two of the three Be+sdO systems, we present first orbits and preliminary dynamical masses of the components, revealing that one of them could be the first identified progenitor of a Be/X-ray binary with a neutron star companion. These results provide new sets of fundamental parameters that are crucially needed to establish the evolutionary status and origin of Be stars.

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  2. Context . The study of the multiplicity of massive stars gives hints on their formation processes and their evolutionary paths, which are still not fully understood. Large separation binaries (>50 milliseconds of arc, mas) can be probed by adaptive-optics-assisted direct imaging and sparse aperture masking, while close binaries can be resolved by photometry and spectroscopy. However, optical long baseline interferometry is mandatory to establish the multiplicity of Galactic massive stars at the separation gap between 1 and 50 mas. Aims . In this paper, we aim to demonstrate the capability of the new interferometric instrument MIRC-X, located at the CHARA Array, to study the multiplicity of O-type stars and therefore probe the full range of separation for more than 120 massive stars ( H < 7 . 5 mag). Methods . We initiated a pilot survey of bright O-type stars ( H < 6.5 mag) observable with MIRC-X. We observed 29 O-type stars, including two systems in average atmospheric conditions around a magnitude of H = 7.5 mag. We systematically reduced the obtained data with the public reduction pipeline of the instrument. We analyzed the reduced data using the dedicated python software CANDID to detect companions. Results . Out of these 29 systems, we resolved 19 companions in 17 different systems with angular separations between ~0.5 and 50 mas. This results in a multiplicity fraction ƒ m = 17/29 = 0.59 ± 0.09, and an average number of companions ƒ c = 19/29 = 0.66 ± 0.13. Those results are in agreement with the results of the SMASH+ survey in the Southern Hemisphere. Thirteen of these companions have been resolved for the first time, including the companion responsible for the nonthermal emission in Cyg OB2-5 A and the confirmation of the candidate companion of HD 47129 suggested by SMASH+. Conclusions . A large survey on more than 120 northern O-type stars ( H < 7.5) is possible with MIRC-X and will be fruitful. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2024
  3. Aims. HD 206893 is a nearby debris disk star that hosts a previously identified brown dwarf companion with an orbital separation of ∼10 au. Long-term precise radial velocity (RV) monitoring, as well as anomalies in the system proper motion, has suggested the presence of an additional, inner companion in the system. Methods. Using information from ongoing precision RV measurements with the HARPS spectrograph, as well as Gaia host star astrometry, we have undertaken a multi-epoch search for the purported additional planet using the VLTI/GRAVITY instrument. Results. We report a high-significance detection over three epochs of the companion HD 206893c, which shows clear evidence for Keplerian orbital motion. Our astrometry with ∼50−100 μarcsec precision afforded by GRAVITY allows us to derive a dynamical mass of 12.7$ ^{+1.2}_{-1.0} $ M Jup and an orbital separation of 3.53$ ^{+0.08}_{-0.06} $ au for HD 206893c. Our fits to the orbits of both companions in the system use both Gaia astrometry and RVs to also provide a precise dynamical estimate of the previously uncertain mass of the B component, and therefore allow us to derive an age of 155 ± 15 Myr for the system. We find that theoretical atmospheric and evolutionary models that incorporate deuterium burning for HD 206893c, parameterized by cloudy atmosphere models as well as a “hybrid sequence” (encompassing a transition from cloudy to cloud-free), provide a good simultaneous fit to the luminosity of both HD 206893B and c. Thus, accounting for both deuterium burning and clouds is crucial to understanding the luminosity evolution of HD 206893c. Conclusions. In addition to using long-term RV information, this effort is an early example of a direct imaging discovery of a bona fide exoplanet that was guided in part by Gaia astrometry. Utilizing Gaia astrometry is expected to be one of the primary techniques going forward for identifying and characterizing additional directly imaged planets. In addition, HD 206893c is an example of an object narrowly straddling the deuterium-burning limit but unambiguously undergoing deuterium burning. Additional discoveries like this may therefore help clarify the discrimination between a brown dwarf and an extrasolar planet. Lastly, this discovery is another example of the power of optical interferometry to directly detect and characterize extrasolar planets where they form, at ice-line orbital separations of 2−4 au. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
  4. Abstract We present preliminary results from our long-baseline interferometry (LBI) survey to constrain the multiplicity properties of intermediate-mass A-type stars within 80 pc. Previous multiplicity studies of nearby stars exhibit orbital separation distributions well fitted with a lognormal with peaks >15 au, increasing with primary mass. The A-star multiplicity survey of De Rosa et al., sensitive beyond 30 au but incomplete below 100 au, found a lognormal peak around 390 au. Radial velocity surveys of slowly rotating, chemically peculiar Am stars identified a significant number of very close companions with periods ≤5 days, ∼0.1 au, a result similar to surveys of O- and B-type primaries. With the improved performance of LBI techniques, we can probe these close separations for normal A-type stars where other surveys are incomplete. Our initial sample consists of 27 A-type primaries with estimated masses between 1.44 and 2.49 M ⊙ and ages 10–790 Myr, which we observed with the MIRC-X instrument at the CHARA Array. We use the open-source software CANDID to detect five companions, three of which are new, and derive a companion frequency of 0.19 − 0.06 + 0.11 over mass ratios of 0.25–1.0 and projected separations of 0.288–5.481 au. We find a probability of 10 −6 that our results are consistent with extrapolations based on previous models of the A-star companion population over the mass ratios and separations sampled. Our results show the need to explore these very close separations to inform our understanding of stellar formation and evolution processes. 
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  5. Abstract We started a survey with CHARA/MIRC-X and VLTI/GRAVITY to search for low-mass companions orbiting individual components of intermediate-mass binary systems. With the incredible precision of these instruments, we can detect astrometric “wobbles” from companions down to a few tens of microarcseconds. This allows us to detect any previously unseen triple systems in our list of binaries. We present the orbits of 12 companions around early F- to B-type binaries, 9 of which are new detections and 3 of which are first astrometric detections of known radial velocity (RV) companions. The masses of these newly detected components range from 0.45 to 1.3 M ⊙ . Our orbits constrain these systems to a high astrometric precision, with median residuals to the orbital fit of 20–50 μ as in most cases. For seven of these systems we include newly obtained RV data, which help us to identify the system configuration and to solve for masses of individual components in some cases. Although additional RV measurements are needed to break degeneracy in the mutual inclination, we find that the majority of these inner triples are not well aligned with the wide binary orbit. This hints that higher-mass triples are more misaligned compared to solar and lower-mass triples, though a thorough study of survey biases is needed. We show that the ARMADA survey is extremely successful at uncovering previously unseen companions in binaries. This method will be used in upcoming papers to constrain companion demographics in intermediate-mass binary systems down to the planetary-mass regime. 
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  6. Mérand, Antoine ; Sallum, Stephanie ; Sanchez-Bermudez, Joel (Ed.)
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  8. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT We present updated orbital elements for the Wolf–Rayet (WR) binary WR 140 (HD 193793; WC7pd  + O5.5fc). The new orbital elements were derived using previously published measurements along with 160 new radial velocity measurements across the 2016 periastron passage of WR 140. Additionally, four new measurements of the orbital astrometry were collected with the CHARA Array. With these measurements, we derive stellar masses of $M_{\rm WR} = 10.31\pm 0.45 \, \mathrm{M}_\odot$ and $M_{\rm O} = 29.27\pm 1.14 \, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$. We also include a discussion of the evolutionary history of this system from the Binary Population and Spectral Synthesis model grid to show that this WR star likely formed primarily through mass-loss in the stellar winds, with only a moderate amount of mass lost or transferred through binary interactions. 
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  9. null (Ed.)