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 Physics , 2010, DOI: 10.1063/1.3556196 Abstract: We give a brief review over the observational evidence for close substellar companions to hot subdwarf stars. The formation of these core helium-burning objects requires huge mass loss of their red giant progenitors. It has been suggested that besides stellar companions substellar objects in close orbits may be able to trigger this mass loss. Such objects can be easily detected around hot subdwarf stars by medium or high resolution spectroscopy with an RV accuracy at the km/s-level. Eclipsing systems of HW Vir type stick out of transit surveys because of their characteristic light curves. The best evidence that substellar objects in close orbits around sdBs exist and that they are able to trigger the required mass loss is provided by the eclipsing system SDSS J0820+0008, which was found in the course of the MUCHFUSS project. Furthermore, several candidate systems have been discovered.
 Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1063/1.3556197 Abstract: After the discovery of a substellar companion to the hot subdwarf HD 149382, we have started a radial velocity search for similar objects around other bright sdB stars using the Anglo-Australian Telescope. Our aim is to test the hypothesis that close substellar companions can significantly affect the post-main sequence evolution of solar-type stars. It has previously been proposed that binary interactions in this scenario could lead to the formation of hot subdwarfs. The detection of such objects will provide strong evidence that Jupiter-mass planets can survive the interaction with a solar-type star as it evolves up the Red Giant Branch. We present the first results of our search here.
 Physics , 2000, Abstract: A coronagraphic imaging survey of 65 nearby stars was conducted using the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) on the Hubble Space Telescope by the Instrument Definition Team. Using these guaranteed time observations we searched for very low mass stellar and substellar (extra-solar giant planet and brown dwarf) companions to young main sequence and late M dwarf stars. Nineteen additional stars, similarly observed in our circumstellar disk program, were also examined for evidence of companions. We discuss the large depth and dynamic range of these surveys which have given rise to several putative and confirmed detections. Using follow-up spectrographic observations obtained with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) we have begun to characterize the physical nature of the objects found in the companion search program.
 Physics , 2011, Abstract: It has been suggested that besides stellar companions, substellar objects in close orbits may be able to trigger mass loss in a common envelope phase and form hot subdwarfs. In an ongoing project we search for close substellar companions combining time resolved high resolution spectroscopy with photometry. We determine the fraction of as yet undetected radial velocity variable systems from a sample of 27 apparently single sdB stars to be 16%. We discovered low-mass stellar companions to the He-sdB CPD-20 1123 and the pulsator KPD 0629-0016. The brown dwarf reported to orbit the eclipsing binary SDSS J0820+0008 could be confirmed by an analysis of high resolution spectra taken with UVES. Reflection effects have been detected in the light curves of the known sdB binaries CPD-64 481 and BPS CS 22169-0001. The inclinations of these systems must be much higher than expected and the most likely companion masses are in the substellar regime. Finally, we determined the orbit of the sdB binary PHL 457, which has a very small radial velocity amplitude and may host the lowest mass substellar companion known. The implications of these new results for the open question of sdB formation are discussed.
 Physics , 2009, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.16085.x Abstract: A number of substellar companions to evolved cool stars have now been reported. Cool giants are distinct from their progenitor Main Sequence (MS) low-mass stars in a number of ways. First, the mass loss rates of cool giant stars are orders of magnitude greater than for the late-type MS stars. Second, on the cool side of the Linsky-Haisch "dividing line", K and M giant stars are not X-ray sources, although they do show evidence for chromospheres. As a result, cool star winds are largely neutral for those spectral types, suggesting that planetary or brown dwarf magnetospheres will not be effective in standing off the stellar wind. In this case one expects the formation of a bow shock morphology at the companion, deep inside its magnetosphere. We explore radio emissions from substellar companions to giant stars with ionised winds or neutral winds.
 Physics , 2009, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/708/1/411 Abstract: The formation scenarios for single low-mass (M < 0.45 Msol) white dwarfs include enhanced mass loss from a metal-rich progenitor star or a common envelope phase of a solar-like star with a close-in massive planet or a brown dwarf. Both scenarios suggest that low-mass white dwarfs may have planets. Here, we present a Spitzer IRAC search for substellar and planetary mass companions to 14 low-mass white dwarfs. One of our targets, HS 1653+7753, displays near- and mid-infrared flux excess. However, follow-up MMT observations show that this excess is due to a nearby resolved source, which is mostly likely a background object. Another target, PG 2257+162, shows flux excess compatible with a late-type stellar companion. We do not detect substellar companions to any of the remaining targets. In addition, eight of these stars do not show any radial velocity variations, ruling out stellar mass companions including other white dwarfs. We conclude that a significant fraction of the low-mass white dwarfs in our sample do not have stellar or massive brown dwarf companions.
 Physics , 2010, DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/720/1/L82 Abstract: We report the discovery of a tight substellar companion to the young solar analog PZ Tel, a member of the Beta Pictoris moving group observed with high contrast adaptive optics imaging as part of the Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign. The companion was detected at a projected separation of 16.4 +/- 1.0 AU (0.33 +/- 0.01") in April 2009. Second-epoch observations in May 2010 demonstrate that the companion is physically associated and shows significant orbital motion. Monte Carlo modeling constrains the orbit of PZ Tel B to eccentricities > 0.6. The near-IR colors of PZ Tel B indicate a spectral type of M7+/-2 and thus this object will be a new benchmark companion for studies of ultracool, low-gravity photospheres. Adopting an age of 12 +8 -4 Myr for the system, we estimate a mass of 36 +/- 6 Mjup based on the Lyon/DUSTY evolutionary models. PZ Tel B is one of few young substellar companions directly imaged at orbital separations similar to those of giant planets in our own solar system. Additionally, the primary star PZ Tel A shows a 70 um emission excess, evidence for a significant quantity of circumstellar dust that has not been disrupted by the orbital motion of the companion.
 Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/744/2/136 Abstract: Recent observations of strikingly well-defined spirals in the circumstellar envelopes of asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars point to the existence of binary companions in these objects. In the case of planet or brown dwarf mass companions, we investigate the observational properties of the spiral-onion shell wakes due to the gravitational interaction of these companions with the outflowing circumstellar matter. Three dimensional hydrodynamical simulations at high resolution show that the substellar mass objects produce detectable signatures at 100 AU distance, for the wake induced by a Jupiter to brown dwarf mass object orbiting a solar mass AGB star. In particular, the arm pattern propagates with a speed depending on the local wind and sound speeds, implying possible variations in the arm separation in the wind acceleration region and/or in a slow wind with significant temperature variation. The pattern propagation speeds of the inner and outer boundaries differ by twice the sound speed, leading to the overlap of high density boundaries in slow winds and producing a subpattern of the spiral arm feature. Vertically, the wake forms concentric arcs with angular sizes anticorrelated to the wind Mach number. We provide an empirical formula for the peak density enhancement as a function of the mass, orbital distance, and velocity of the object as well as the wind and local sound speeds. In typical condition of AGB envelopes, the arm-interarm density contrast can be greater than 30 % of the background density within a distance of ~10(M_p/M_J) AU for the object mass M_p in units of Jupiter mass M_J. These results suggest that such features may probe unseen substellar mass objects embedded in the winds of AGB stars and may be useful in planning future high sensitivity/resolution observations with ALMA.
 Physics , 2015, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/803/1/1 Abstract: We present three giant stars from the ongoing Penn State-Toru\'n Planet Search with the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, which exhibit radial velocity variations that point to a presence of planetary --mass companions around them. BD+49 828 is a $M=1.52 \pm 0.22$ $M_{\odot}$ K0 giant with a $m sini$=$1.6^{+0.4}_{-0.2}$ $M_{J}$ minimum mass companion in $a=4.2^{+0.32}_{-0.2}$ AU ($2590^{+300}_{-180}$d), $e=0.35^{+0.24}_{-0.10}$ orbit. HD 95127, a log$L$/$L_{\odot}$=$2.28 \pm 0.38$, $R = 20\pm 9$ $R_{\odot}$, $M=1.20 \pm 0.22$ $M_{\odot}$ K0 giant has a $m sini$=$5.01^{+0.61}_{-0.44}$ $M_{J}$ minimum mass companion in $a=1.28^{+0.01}_{-0.01}$ AU ($482^{+5}_{-5}$d), $e=0.11^{+0.15}_{-0.06}$ orbit. Finally, HD 216536, is a $M=1.36 \pm 0.38$ $M_{\odot}$ K0 giant with a $m sin i=1.47^{+0.20}_{-0.12}$ $M_{J}$ minimum mass companion in $a=0.609^{+0.002}_{-0.002}$ AU ($148.6^{+0.7}_{-0.7}$d), $e=0.38^{+0.12}_{-0.10}$ orbit. Both, HD 95127 b and HD 216536 b in their compact orbits, are very close to the engulfment zone and hence prone to ingestion in the near future. BD+49 828 b is among the longest period planets detected with the radial velocity technique until now and it will remain unaffected by stellar evolution up to a very late stage of its host. We discuss general properties of planetary systems around evolved stars and planet survivability using existing data on exoplanets in more detail.
 Physics , 2015, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/802/1/61 Abstract: We present new 0.9-2.45 $\mu$m spectroscopy ($R \sim 1000$), and $Y$, $J$, $H$, $K_s$, $L^\prime$ photometry, obtained at Gemini North, of three low-mass brown dwarf companions on wide orbits around young stars of the Upper Scorpius OB association: HIP 78530 B, [PGZ2001] J161031.9-191305 B, and GSC 06214-00210 B. We use these data to assess the companions' spectral type, temperature, surface gravity and mass, as well as the ability of the BT-Settl and Drift-Phoenix atmosphere models to reproduce the spectral features of young substellar objects. For completeness, we also analyze the archival spectroscopy and photometry of the Upper Scorpius planetary mass companion 1RXS J160929.1-210524 b. Based on a comparison with model spectra we find that the companions, in the above order, have effective temperatures of 2700, 2500, 2300 and 1700 K. These temperatures are consistent with our inferred spectral types, respectively M7 $\beta$, M9 $\gamma$, M9 $\gamma$, and L4 $\gamma$. From bolometric luminosities estimated from atmosphere model spectra adjusted to our photometry, and using evolution models at 5-10 Myr, we estimate masses of 21-25, 28-70, 14-17 and 7-12 $M_{\rm Jup}$, respectively. J1610-1913 B appears significantly over-luminous for its inferred temperature, which explains its higher mass estimate. Synthetic spectra based on the BT-Settl and Drift-Phoenix atmosphere models generally offer a good fit to our observed spectra, although our analysis has highlighted a few problems. For example, the best fits in the individual near-infrared bands occur at different model temperatures. Also, temperature estimates based on a comparison of the broadband magnitudes and colors of the companions to synthetic magnitudes from the models are systematically lower than the temperature estimates based on a comparison with synthetic spectra.
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