A spectral differential characterization of low-mass companions
1 Main Astronomical Observatory of NAS of Ukraine, 27 Akademika Zabolotnoho St., 03680 Kyiv, Ukraine
2 Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
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We present a new approach with which the dynamical mass of low-mass companions around cool stars can be found. In order to discover companions to late-type stars the stellar spectrum is removed. For this we substract two spectra obtained at different orbital phases from each other in order to discover the companion spectrum in the difference spectrum in which the companion lines appear twice (positive and negative signal). The resulting radial velocity difference of these two signals provides the true mass of the companion. For our test case GJ1046, an M2V dwarf with a low-mass companion that most likely is a brown dwarf we select the CO line region in the K-band. We show that the dynamical mass of a faint companion to an M dwarf can be determined using our spectral differential technique. Only if the companion rotates rapidly and has a small radial velocity amplitude due to a high mass, does blending occur for all lines so that our approach fails. In addition to determining the companion mass, we restore the single companion spectrum from the difference spectrum using singular value decomposition.
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