AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 67 Nearby Star II
Special Session, Tuesday, January 6, 2004, 2:00-3:30pm, Centennial I/II

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[67.02] Discoveries of Faint Companions to Nearby Stars with HST

D. A. Golimowski (JHU), NICMOS Nearby Star Survey Team, ACS GTO Team

The Hubble Space Telescope has become a valuable tool for discovering and monitoring very-low-mass (VLM) companions to nearby stars and brown dwarfs. The spatial resolutions of WFPC2, NICMOS, and ACS allow the direct imaging of binary systems within 10 pc that have apparent separations of a few AU. These nearby and closely separated systems are ideal targets for long-term mapping of their Keplerian orbits, from which the masses of VLM stars and brown dwarfs may be derived empirically. I report the discovery of four binary M dwarfs one binary L dwarf from a multicycle NICMOS snapshot survey of stars within 10 pc, and discuss follow-up FGS observations of one of these systems. I also describe an innovative search for substellar or planetary companions to Alpha Cen AB using the ACS coronagraph and the spectral-deconvolution imaging technique.

Funding for this work has been provided by Guest Observer grants from the Space Telescope Science Institute and NASA grant NAG5-7697 to the ACS Science Team.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.