Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 373, 657-664 (2001/7-2)
ADONIS observations of hard X-ray emitting late B-type stars in Lindroos systems.
HUELAMO N., BRANDNER W., BROWN A.G.A., NEUHAEUSER R. and ZINNECKER H.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present adaptive optics JHKS imaging observations of three main-sequence late B-type stars listed in the Lindroos Catalogue: HD 123445, HD 127971 and HD 129791. Given their spectral types, these stars should not be X-ray emitters. However, they have been detected by ROSAT and their X-ray emission has been attributed to possible unresolved late-type companions. We have carried out near-IR observations with ADONIS at the ESO 3.6 m but have not detected any late-type companions close to HD 127971 and HD 129791. This result leads us to conclude that either (i) they are spectroscopic binaries with unresolved low-mass companions, or (ii) they are intrinsic X-ray emitters. While the former case would be consistent with the reported high multiplicity of early-type (A and B) stars, the latter would yield a revision of stellar activity theories which do not predict X-ray emission from these stars. On the other hand, HD 123445 does indeed show visual companions, namely an apparent subarcsecond faint (Ks∼10) binary system at a projected separation of 5" from the late-B type star. The JHKS magnitudes and colors of the components are consistent with (i) a pair of Pre Main Sequence (PMS) K-type stars at 140pc (i.e. possible members of the Upper Centaurus Lupus association), (ii) a pair of Main Sequence M-type stars at 60pc and (iii) a pair of K-type giants at 2.6kpc. While in the first case the reported X-ray emission can be ascribed to the new objects, in the second and third case it cannot, and we have to assume the late B-type star to be either a spectroscopic binary itself or a single star with intrinsic X-ray emission. Spectroscopy is required to confirm the possible PMS nature of the new binary and Chandra X-ray high spatial resolution (astrometric) imaging observations are required to definitely determine the source of the X-ray emission. If the B9 star results to be the X-ray emitter, near-IR spectroscopy can be used to investigate the presence of a T Tauri like spectroscopic companions.