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Astrophysics

Title: Direct detection of exoplanet host star companion gamma Cep B and revised masses for both stars and the sub-stellar object

Authors: Ralph Neuhaeuser, Markus Mugrauer (AIU Jena), Misato Fukagawa (Nagoya Univ.), Guillermo Torres (CfA Cambridge), Tobias Schmidt (AIU Jena)
Abstract: The star gamma Cep is known as a single-lined spectroscopic triple system at a distance of 13.8 pc, composed of a K1 III-IV primary star with V = 3.2 mag, a stellar-mass companion in a 66--67 year orbit (Torres 2006), and a substellar companion with M_p sin i = 1.7 M_Jup that is most likely a planet (Hatzes et al. 2003). We aim to obtain a first direct detection of the stellar companion, to determine its current orbital position (for comparison with the spectroscopic and astrometric data), its infrared magnitude and, hence, mass. We use the Adaptive Optics camera CIAO at the Japanese 8m telescope Subaru on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, with the semi-transparent coronograph to block most of the light from the bright primary gamma Cep A, and to detect at the same time the faint companion B. In addition, we also used the IR camera Omega-Cass at the Calar Alto 3.5m telescope, Spain, to image gamma Cep A and B by adding up many very short integrations (without AO). gamma Cep B is clearly detected on our CIAO and Omega-Cass images. We use a photometric standard star to determine the magnitude of B after PSF subtraction in the Subaru image, and the magnitude difference between A and B in the Calar Alto images, and find an average value of K = 7.3 \pm 0.2 mag. The separations and position angles between A and B are measured on 15 July 2006 and 11 and 12 Sept 2006, B is slightly south of west of A. By combining the radial velocity, astrometric, and imaging data, we have refined the binary orbit and determined the dynamical masses of the two stars in the gamma Cep system, namely 1.40 \pm 0.12 M_sun for the primary and 0.409 \pm 0.018 M_sun for the secondary (consistent with being a M4 dwarf). We also determine the minimum mass of the sub-stellar companion to be M_p sin i = 1.60 \pm 0.13 M_Jup.
Comments: A&A in press, 5 pages with 4 figures
Subjects: Astrophysics (astro-ph)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20066581
Cite as: arXiv:astro-ph/0611427
  (or arXiv:astro-ph/0611427v1 for this version)

Submission history

From: Ralph Neuhaeuser [view email]
[v1] Tue, 14 Nov 2006 12:06:40 GMT (340kb)