A search for spectroscopic binaries in the Galactic globular cluster M4 Based on 5973 individual spectra collected at VLT

V. Sommariva, G. Piotto, M. Rejkuba, L. R. Bedin, D. C. Heggie, R. D. Mathieu, S. Villanova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Aims. We present a large multi-epoch high resolution spectroscopic investigation searching for binary candidates in the Galactic Globular Cluster (GGC) M4. The aim of our work is the identification of binary candidates, and the determination of the binary fraction and of the binary radial distribution.

Methods. We have obtained 5973 individual spectra of 2469 stars with the multifiber facility FLAMES+GIRAFFE at VLT. Selected stars range from the red giant branch tip to one magnitude below the TO, and cover the entire cluster. Each star has been observed at least twice, with a temporal interval of about three years. For 484 stars we have three epochs. Radial velocities were obtained with the classical cross-correlation technique, using a solar type spectrum as the template.

Results. The average radial velocity of the observed cluster members is 70.29 +/- 0.07(+/- 0.3)(+/- 0.1) km s(-1). The search for variations in radial velocities among the stars with multi-epoch observations yielded 57 binary star candidates. Our radial velocity measurement accuracy allowed us to identify at a 3 sigma level binaries with radial velocity variations larger than similar to 0.3 km s(-1) for the target stars with V <= 15, and larger than similar to 0.5 km s(-1) for the targets with V >= 15. We identified 4 binary star candidates out of 97 observed targets inside the core radius, and 53 candidates out of 2372 observed stars outside the core radius. Accounting for the incompleteness affecting our survey, the lower limit for the total binary fraction is f = 3.0 +/- 0.3%. The lower limit for the binary fraction in the cluster core is f = 5.1 +/- 2.3%, while outside the core it decreases to f = 3.0 +/- 0.4%. Similarly, we found f = 4.5 +/- 0.4% and f = 1.8 +/- 0.6% for the binary fraction inside and outside the half mass radius.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)947-958
Number of pages12
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • techniques: spectroscopic
  • Galaxy: globular clusters: individual: M4 (NGC 6121)
  • stars: binaries: spectroscopic
  • CORE


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