Wide companions to M and L subdwarfs with Gaia and the Virtual Observatory

González-Payo, J.; Cortés-Contreras, M.; Lodieu, N.; Solano, E.; Zhang, Z. H.; Gálvez-Ortiz, M. -C.
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Astronomy and Astrophysics

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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 ( or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/cat/J/A+A/650/A190
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