AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 133. Variable Stars: Searchers, Data, Analysis
Display, Thursday, January 10, 2002, 9:20am-4:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[133.10] A High Resolution Imaging Survey of A Stars with AEOS

J. Patience, B. A. Macintosh, C. E. Max (LLNL)

We are conducting a companion search to field and cluster A stars using the U. S. Air Force Advanced Electro-Optical System (AEOS) which includes a 941 actuator adaptive optics system on a 3.7m telescope on Haleakala. Operating at I-band, the diffraction limit of the system is 0".05. This program is designed to address questions in binary star formation and stellar X-ray activity. The first goal of our project is to obtain high resolution adaptive optics observations of a large sample of early-type stars in order to extend the mass range covered by binary star searches and to test binary formation theories. In addition to providing insight into the star formation process, studies of companion stars may also explain the unexpected detection of X-rays from A stars. Since A stars lack both the strong winds of the earlier spectral types and the dynamos of the later spectral types, they are not expected to produce X-rays, however, some A stars are detected as X-ray sources. Typical ROSAT error boxes can include a companion star and the second goal of our program is to investigate the possibility that companions are the true source of X-ray emission from A stars. A stars in the young open clusters Coma Berenices and the Pleiades have been targeted as well as field A stars. Our initial results show a binary fraction for X-ray detected A stars that is twice as high as that of non-detected A stars.

We gratefully acknowledge support from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research through grant AFOSR-ISSA-01-NM-016. This work was performed under the auspices of the US Department of Energy by the University of California Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under contract W-7405-ENG-48.

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