- Press Release
- March 16, 2023
Searching for Faint Comoving Companions To The α Centauri System In The VVV Survey Infrared Images
The VVV survey has observed the southern disk of the Milky Way in the near infrared, covering 240 deg2 in the ZYJHKS filters.
We search the VVV Survey images in a ∼19 deg2 field around α Centauri, the nearest stellar system to the Sun, to look for possible overlooked companions that the baseline in time of VVV would be able to uncover. The photometric depth of our search reaches Y∼19.3 mag, J∼19 mag, and KS∼17 mag. This search has yielded no new companions in α Centauri system, setting an upper mass limit for any unseen companion well into the brown dwarf/planetary mass regime. The apparent magnitude limits were turned into effective temperature limits, and the presence of companion objects with effective temperatures warmer than 325K can be ruled out using different state-of-the-art atmospheric models.
These limits were transformed into mass limits using evolutionary models, companions with masses above 11 MJup were discarded, extending the constraints recently provided in the literature up to projected distances of d<7 000 AU from α Cen AB and ∼1200 AU from Proxima. In the next few years, the VVV extended survey (VVVX) will allow to extend the search and place similar limits on brown dwarfs/planetary companions to α Cen AB for separations up to 20 000AU.
J. C. Beamin, D. Minniti, J. B. Pullen, V. D. Ivanov, E. Bendek, A.Bayo, M. Gromadzki, R. Kurtev, P. W. Lucas, R. P. Butler
(Submitted on 17 Aug 2017)
Comments: 8 pages, 6 figures, 3 tables. Accepted for publication in MNRAS
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:1708.05365 [astro-ph.SR] (or arXiv:1708.05365v1 [astro-ph.SR] for this version)
From: Juan Carlos Beamín
[v1] Thu, 17 Aug 2017 17:08:43 GMT (4222kb,D)