EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 498, Number 2, May I 2009
Page(s) 479 - 488
Section Stellar structure and evolution
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/200810702
Published online 18 February 2009
A&A 498, 479-488 (2009)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/200810702

Spectroscopic binaries among Hipparcos M giants

II. Binary frequency
A. Frankowski1, B. Famaey1, S. Van Eck1, M. Mayor2, S. Udry2, and A. Jorissen1

1  Institut d'Astronomie et d'Astrophysique, Université libre de Bruxelles, Faculté des Sciences, CP 226, Boulevard du Triomphe, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium
    e-mail: alain.jorissen@ulb.ac.be
2  Observatoire de Genève, Université de Genève, 1290 Sauverny, Switzerland

Received 29 July 2008 / Accepted 19 December 2008

Context. This paper is the second in a series devoted to studying the properties of binaries with M giant primaries.
Aims. The binary frequency of field M giants is derived and compared with the binary fraction of K giants.
Methods. Diagrams of the CORAVEL spectroscopic parameter Sb (measuring the average line width) vs. radial-velocity standard deviation for our samples were used to define appropriate binarity criteria. These then served to extract the binarity fraction among the M giants. Comparison is made to earlier data on K giant binarity frequency. The Sb parameter is discussed in relation to global stellar parameters, and the Sb vs. stellar radius relation is used to identify fast rotators.
Results. We find that the spectroscopic binary detection rate among field M giants, in a sample with few velocity measurements (~2), unbiased toward earlier known binaries, is 6.3%. This is less than half of the analogous rate for field K giants. This difference originates in the greater difficulty of finding binaries among M giants because of their smaller orbital velocity amplitudes and larger intrinsic jitter and in the different distributions of K and M giants in the eccentricity–period diagram. A higher detection rate was obtained in a smaller M giant sample with more radial velocity measurements per object: 11.1% confirmed plus 2.7% possible binaries. The CORAVEL spectroscopic parameter Sb was found to correlate better with the stellar radius than with either luminosity or effective temperature separately. Two outliers of the Sb vs. stellar radius relation, HD 190658 and HD 219654, have been recognised as fast rotators. The rotation is companion-induced, as both objects turn out to be spectroscopic binaries.

Key words: binaries: spectroscopic -- stars: late-type -- stars: statistics

© ESO 2009