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Published September 1, 2011 | Published + Submitted
Journal Article Open

A Dim Candidate Companion to ϵ Cephei


Using a vector vortex coronagraph behind the 1.5 m well-corrected subaperture (WCS) at Palomar, we detected a second object very close to ϵ Cephei, a δ Scuti F0 IV star. The candidate companion, ~50 times fainter than ϵ Cephei, if physically associated, is a late-type K or early M star, and lies at an angular separation of 330 mas, or 1.1 λ/D for the WCS, making it the smallest angle detection ever realized with a coronagraph in terms of λ/D units. The projected separation of the putative companion is ~8.6 AU, most likely on a highly eccentric orbit. The recently detected near-infrared excess is thus likely not due to hot dust. Moreover, we also show that the previously reported IRAS 60 μm excess was due to source confusion on the galactic plane.

Additional Information

© 2011 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2011 June 6; accepted 2011 July 5; published 2011 August 12. This work was carried out at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) site of Vitacura (Santiago, Chile), and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology (Caltech), under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The data presented in this Letter are based on observations obtained at the Hale Telescope, Palomar Observatory, as part of a continuing collaboration between Caltech, NASA/JPL, and Cornell University. This work is also based (in part) on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the JPL, Caltech, under a contract with NASA. This research has made use of the NASA/ IPAC/NExScI Star and Exoplanet Database, which is operated by the JPL, Caltech, under contract with NASA, and NASA's Astrophysics Data System and of the SIMBAD database, operated at CDS (Strasbourg, France).

Attached Files

Published - apjl_738_1_12.pdf

Submitted - 1107.3872v1.pdf


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