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The High Angular Resolution Multiplicity of Massive Stars

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We present the results of a speckle interferometric survey of Galactic massive stars that complements and expands upon a similar survey made over a decade ago. The speckle observations were made with the Kitt Peak National Observatory and Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory 4 m telescopes and USNO speckle camera, and they are sensitive to the detection of binaries in the angular separation regime between 0.03 and 5 with relatively bright companions deltaV 3. We report on the discovery of companions to 14 OB stars. In total we resolved companions of 41 of 385 O-stars 11, 4 of 37 Wolf-Rayet stars 11, and 89 of 139 B-stars 64 an enriched visual binary sample that we selected for future orbital determinations. We made a statistical analysis of the binary frequency among the subsample that are listed in the Galactic O Star Catalog by compiling published data on other visual companions detected through adaptive optics studies andor noted in the Washington Double Star Catalog and by collecting published information on radial velocities and spectroscopic binaries. We find that the binary frequency is much higher among O-stars in clusters and associations compared to the numbers for field and runaway O-stars, consistent with predictions for the ejection processes for runaway stars. We present a first orbit for the O-star delta Orionis a linear solution of the close, apparently optical, companion of the O-star iota Orionis and an improved orbit of the Be star delta Scorpii. Finally, we list astrometric data for another 249 resolved and 221 unresolved targets that are lower mass stars that we observed for various other science programs.

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  • Astronomy
  • Astrophysics

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