A spectroscopic search for white dwarf companions to 101 nearby M dwarfs.
BAR I., VREESWIJK P., GAL-YAM A., OFEK E.O. and NELEMANS G.
Abstract (from CDS):
Recent studies of the stellar population in the solar neighborhood (<20 pc) suggest that there are undetected white dwarfs (WDs) in multiple systems with main-sequence companions. Detecting these hidden stars and obtaining a more complete census of nearby WDs is important for our understanding of stellar and galactic evolution, as well as the study of explosive phenomena. In an attempt to uncover these hidden WDs, we present intermediate resolution spectroscopy over the wavelength range of 3000-25000 Å of 101 nearby M dwarfs (dMs), observed with the Very Large Telescope X-Shooter spectrograph. For each star we search for a hot component superimposed on the dM spectrum. X-Shooter has excellent blue sensitivity and thus can reveal a faint hot WD despite the brightness of its red companion. Visual examination shows no clear evidence of a WD in any of the spectra. We place upper limits on the effective temperatures of WDs that may still be hiding by fitting dM templates to the spectra and modeling the WD spectra. On average our survey is sensitive to WDs hotter than about 5300 K. This suggests that the frequency of WD companions of Teff 5300 K with separation of the order of <=50 au among the local dM population is <3% at the 95% confidence level. The reduced spectra are made available via the WISeREP3 repository.