[BCL2000] 31 , the SIMBAD biblio

2000A&A...360..991B - Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 360, 991-996 (2000/8-3)

Search for companions around Sirius.


Abstract (from CDS):

Since the discovery of Sirius-B about 130yr ago, there have been several claims of a possible second companion around the brightest star Sirius-A. Such a companion could, in particular, be responsible for the suspected colour change of the star, now strongly suggested from two independent historical sources. We reported here on a new observation of the sky region around Sirius, to search for such a companion, using a coronographic device. By comparison of the new stellar field with a similar image obtained by us ∼13yr ago and using the Sirius proper motion, we are able to eliminate the most obvious companion candidates down to a magnitude mv∼17 in a field from 30 arcsec to 2.5arcmin of the central star. None of the visible stars appears consistent in magnitude and colours with what expected from current theoretical models and observations of low-mass stars. From the study of the same field, it is also shown that the Sirius companion, consistently reported by observers during the years 1920-1930, is most probably an unrelated mg≃12 background star, now ∼1arcmin away but located precisely on the Sirius proper motion trajectory. The closest apparent conjunction with Sirius was realized in 1937 with a minimum angular distance of 6.9 arcsec, of the same order as the Sirius A-B binary separation. The reported observations do not eliminate the possibility of a second companion but now confined the search to the more central 30 arcsec region around Sirius. In particular, the existence of a long period companion cannot definitively be ruled out since the arbitrary orientation of the orbit can yield an observed projected position on sky inside this more central region.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): stars: low-mass, brown dwarfs - astrometry - stars: binaries: visual - stars: individual: Sirius

Nomenclature: Table 1: [BCL2000] NN (Nos 1-32).

CDS comments: Table 2: [BG91] N (Nos 1-9).

Simbad objects: 43

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