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2007MNRAS.381.1569H - Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 381, 1569-1574 (2007/November-2)

Establishing the nature of companion candidates to X-ray-emitting late B-type stars.

HUBRIG S., MARCO O., STELZER B., SCHOLLER M. and HUELAMO N.

Abstract (from CDS):

The most favoured interpretation for the detection of X-ray emission from late B-type stars is that these stars have a yet undiscovered late-type companion (or an unbound nearby late-type star) that produces the X-rays. Several faint infrared objects at (sub)arcsecond separation from B-type stars have been uncovered in our earlier adaptive optics imaging observations, and some of them have been followed up with the high spatial resolution of the Chandra X-ray observatory, pinpointing the X-ray emitter. However, firm conclusions on their nature require a search for spectroscopic signatures of youth. Here we report on our recent ISAAC observations carried out in low-resolution spectroscopic mode. Equivalent widths have been used to obtain information on spectral types of the companions. All eight X-ray-emitting systems with late B-type primaries studied contain dwarf-like companions with spectral types later than A7. The only system in the sample where the companion turns out to be of early spectral type is not an X-ray source. These results are consistent with the assumption that the observed X-ray emission from late B-type stars is produced by an active pre-main-sequence companion star.