Rotational velocities of individual components in very low mass binaries

Q. M. Konopacky, A. M. Ghez, D. C. Fabrycky, B. A. MacIntosh, R. J. White, T. S. Barman, E. L. Rice, G. Hallinan, G. Duchêne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present rotational velocities for individual components of 11 very low mass (VLM) binaries with spectral types between M7 and L7.5. These results are based on observations taken with the near-infrared spectrograph, NIRSPEC, and the Keck II laser guide star adaptive optics system. We find that the observed sources tend to be rapid rotators (v sin i > 10kms-1), consistent with previous seeing-limited measurements of VLM objects. The two sources with the largest v sin i, LP349-25B and HD130948C, are rotating at 30% of their break-up speed, and are among the most rapidly rotating VLM objects known. Furthermore, five binary systems, all with orbital semimajor axes ≲3.5 AU, have component v sin i values that differ by greater than 3σ. To bring the binary components with discrepant rotational velocities into agreement would require the rotational axes to be inclined with respect to each other, and that at least one component is inclined with respect to the orbital plane. Alternatively, each component could be rotating at a different rate, even though they have similar spectral types. Both differing rotational velocities and inclinations have implications for binary star formation and evolution. We also investigate possible dynamical evolution in the triple system HD130948A-BC. The close binary brown dwarfs B and C have significantly different v sin i values. We demonstrate that components B and C could have been torqued into misalignment by the primary star, A, via orbital precession. Such a scenario can also be applied to another triple system in our sample, GJ 569A-Bab. Interactions such as these may play an important role in the dynamical evolution of VLM binaries. Finally, we note that two of the binaries with large differences in component v sin i, LP349-25AB and 2MASS 0746+20AB, are also known radio sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number79
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume750
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • binaries: visual
  • brown dwarfs
  • stars: fundamental parameters
  • stars: low-mass
  • stars: rotation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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