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Published August 1, 2014 | Submitted + Published
Journal Article Open

Ultra-short Period Binaries from the Catalina Surveys


We investigate the properties of 367 ultra-short period binary candidates selected from 31,000 sources recently identified from Catalina Surveys data. Based on light curve morphology, along with WISE, Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and GALEX multi-color photometry, we identify two distinct groups of binaries with periods below the 0.22 day contact binary minimum. In contrast to most recent work, we spectroscopically confirm the existence of M dwarf+M dwarf contact binary systems. By measuring the radial velocity variations for five of the shortest-period systems, we find examples of rare cool white dwarf (WD)+M dwarf binaries. Only a few such systems are currently known. Unlike warmer WD systems, their UV flux and optical colors and spectra are dominated by the M-dwarf companion. We contrast our discoveries with previous photometrically selected ultra-short period contact binary candidates and highlight the ongoing need for confirmation using spectra and associated radial velocity measurements. Overall, our analysis increases the number of ultra-short period contact binary candidates by more than an order of magnitude.

Additional Information

© 2014 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2014 April 4; accepted 2014 June 12; published 2014 July 17. CRTS and CSDR1 are supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation under grant AST-1313422. The CSS survey is funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under grant No. NNG05GF22G issued through the Science Mission Directorate Near-Earth Objects Observations Program. J.L.P. acknowledges support from NASA through Hubble Fellowship grant HF-51261.01-A awarded by the STScI, which is operated by AURA, Inc. for NASA, under contract NAS 5-26555. Some of this work is based on observations made with the Gran Telescopio CANARIAS (GTC), installed in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias on the island of La Palma. Support for M.C. and G.T. is provided by the Ministry for the Economy, Development, and Tourism's Programa Inicativa Científica Milenio through grant IC120009, awarded to Millennium Institute of Astrophysics (MAS), Santiago, Chile; by Proyecto Basal PFB-06/2007; and by Proyecto FONDECYT Regular Nos. 1110326 and 1141141. SDSS-III is managed by the Astrophysical Research Consortium for the Participating Institutions of the SDSS-III Collaboration Funding for SDSS-III has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Participating Institutions, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. The SDSS-III Web site is http://www.sdss3.org/.

Attached Files

Published - 0004-637X_790_2_157.pdf

Submitted - 1406.4504v1.pdf


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August 22, 2023
October 17, 2023