Astronomy and Astrophysics
Aims: The aim of the project is to identify wide common proper motion companions to a sample of spectroscopically confirmed M and L metal-poor dwarfs (also known as subdwarfs) to investigate the impact of metallicity on the binary fraction of low-mass metal-poor binaries and to improve the determination of their metallicity from the higher-mass binary.
Methods: We made use of Virtual Observatory tools and large-scale public surveys to look in Gaia for common proper motion companions to a well-defined sample of ultracool subdwarfs with spectral types later than M5 and metallicities below or equal to −0.5 dex. We collected low-resolution optical spectroscopy for our best system, which is a binary composed of one sdM1.5 subdwarf and one sdM5.5 subdwarf located at ∼1360 au, and for another two likely systems separated by more than 115 000 au.
Results: We confirm one wide companion to an M subdwarf, and infer a multiplicity for M subdwarfs (sdMs) of 1.0−1.0+2.0% for projected physical separations of up to 743 000 au. We also find four M-L systems, three of which are new detections. No colder companion was identified in any of the 219 M and L subdwarfs of the sample, mainly because of limitations on the detection of faint sources with Gaia. We infer a frequency of wide systems for sdM5-9.5 of 0.60−0.60+1.17% for projected physical separations larger than 1 360 au (up to 142 400 au). This study shows a multiplicity rate of 1.0−1.0+2.0% in sdMs, and 1.9−1.9+3.7% in extreme M subdwarfs. We did not find any companion for the ultra M subdwarfs of our sample, establishing an upper limit of 5.3% on binarity for these objects. Tables A.1-A.3 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://220.127.116.11) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/cat/J/A+A/650/A190
Our goal is to study the processes that lead to the formation of low mass stars, brown dwarfs and planets and to characterize the physical properties of these objects in various evolutionary stages. Low mass stars and brown dwarfs are likely the most numerous type of objects in our Galaxy but due to their low intrinsic luminosity they are not so
The search for life in the universe has been driven by recent discoveries of planets around other stars (known as exoplanets), becoming one of the most active fields in modern astrophysics. The growing number of new exoplanets discovered in recent years and the recent advance on the study of their atmospheres are not only providing new valuable