Discovery of seven companions to intermediate-mass stars with extreme mass ratios in the Scorpius-Centaurus association

Sasha Hinkley, Adam L. Kraus, Michael J. Ireland, Anthony Cheetham, John M. Carpenter, Peter Tuthill, Sylvestre Lacour, Tom Evans, Xavier Haubois

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    43 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We report the detection of seven low-mass companions to intermediate-mass stars (SpT B/A/F; 1.5-4.5 Mo) in the Scorpius-Centaurus (Sco-Cen) Association using nonredundant aperture masking interferometry. Our newly detected objects have contrasts 4-6, corresponding to masses as low as ∼20 MJup and mass ratios of 0.01-0.08, depending on the assumed age of the target stars. With projected separations ρ ≈ 10-30 AU, our aperture masking detections sample an orbital region previously unprobed by conventional adaptive optics imaging of intermediate-mass Sco-Cen stars covering much larger orbital radii (∼30-3000 AU). At such orbital separations, these objects resemble higher-mass versions of the directly imaged planetary mass companions to the 10-30 Myr, intermediate-mass stars HR 8799, β Pictoris, and HD 95086. These newly discovered companions span the brown dwarf desert, and their masses and orbital radii provide a new constraint on models of the formation of low-mass stellar and substellar companions to intermediate-mass stars.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberL9
    JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
    Volume806
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2015

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