Thirty new low-mass spectroscopic binaries

Evgenya L. Shkolnik, Leslie Hebb, Michael C. Liu, I. Neill Reid, Andrew C. Cameron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


As part of our search for young M dwarfs within 25pc, we acquired high-resolution spectra of 185 low-mass stars compiled by the NStars project that have strong X-ray emission. By cross-correlating these spectra with radial velocity standard stars, we are sensitive to finding multi-lined spectroscopic binaries. We find a low-mass spectroscopic binary fraction of 16% consisting of 27 SB2s, 2 SB3s, and 1 SB4, increasing the number of known low-mass spectroscopic binaries (SBs) by 50% and proving that strong X-ray emission is an extremely efficient way to find M-dwarf SBs. WASP photometry of 23 of these systems revealed two low-mass eclipsing binaries (EBs), bringing the count of known M-dwarf EBs to 15. BD-22 5866, the ESB4, was fully described in 2008 by Shkolnik et al. and CCDM J04404+3127 B consists of two mid-M stars orbiting each other every 2.048 days. WASP also provided rotation periods for 12 systems, and in the cases where the synchronization time scales are short, we used P rot to determine the true orbital parameters. For those with no P rot, we used differential radial velocities to set upper limits on orbital periods and semimajor axes. More than half of our sample has near-equal-mass components (q > 0.8). This is expected since our sample is biased toward tight orbits where saturated X-ray emission is due to tidal spin-up rather than stellar youth. Increasing the samples of M-dwarf SBs and EBs is extremely valuable in setting constraints on current theories of stellar multiplicity and evolution scenarios for low-mass multiple systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1522-1530
Number of pages9
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Binaries: eclipsing
  • Binaries: spectroscopic
  • Stars: activity
  • Stars: late-type
  • Stars: low-mass

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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