The Volume-limited A-Star (VAST) survey - II. Orbital motion monitoring of A-type star multiples

R. J. De Rosa, J. Patience, A. Vigan, P. A. Wilson, A. Schneider, N. J. Mcconnell, S. J. Wiktorowicz, C. Marois, I. Song, B. Macintosh, J. R. Graham, M. S. Bessell, R. Doyon, O. Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


As a part of our ongoing Volume-limited A-Star (VAST) adaptive optics survey, we have obtained observations of 26 binary systems with projected separations <100 au, 13 of which have sufficient historical measurements to allow for refinement of their orbital elements. For each system with an estimated orbit, the dynamical system mass obtained was compared with the system mass estimated from mass-magnitude relations. Discrepancies between the dynamical and theoretical system mass can be explained by the presence of a previously unresolved spectroscopic component or by a non-solar metallicity of the system. Using this approach to infer the presence of additional companions, a lower limit to the fraction of binaries, triples and quadruples can be estimated as 39, 46 and 15per cent for systems with at least one companion within 100 au. The fraction of multiple systems with three or more components shows a relative increase compared to the fraction for solar-type primaries resolved in previous volume-limited surveys. The observations have also revealed a pair of potentially young (<100Myr) M dwarf companions, which would make an ideal benchmark for the theoretical models during the pre-main-sequence contraction phase for M dwarfs. In addition to those systems with orbit fits, we report 13 systems for which further orbital monitoring observations are required, 11 of which are newly resolved as a part of the VAST survey.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2765-2785
Number of pages21
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Binaries: close
  • Binaries: general
  • Techniques: high angular resolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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