Tachoastrometry: astrometry with radial velocities
ESO, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strße 2, 85748
Garching bei München,
2 Departamento de Física, Facultad de Ciencias Básicas, Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación, Av. José Pedro Alessandri 774, 7760197 Ñuñoa, Santiago, Chile
3 The Millennium Institute of Astrophysics (MAS), Cassilla 36- D Santiago, Chile
4 University of Milan, Department of Physics, via Celoria 16, 20133 Milan, Italy
5 ESO, Alcnso de Córdova 3107, Vitacura, Cassilla 19001, Santiago, Chile
6 Departamento de Física, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, 59072-970, Natal, RN Brazil
Received: 29 August 2014
Accepted: 12 December 2014
Context. Spectra of composite systems (e.g., spectroscopic binaries) contain spatial information that can be retrieved by measuring the radial velocities (i.e., Doppler shifts) of the components in four observations with the slit rotated by 90 degrees in the sky.
Aims. We aim at developing a framework to describe the method and to test its capabilities in a real case.
Methods. By using basic concepts of slit spectroscopy we show that the geometry of composite systems can be reliably retrieved by measuring only radial velocity differences taken with different slit angles. The spatial resolution is determined by the precision with which differential radial velocities can be measured.
Results. We use the UVES spectrograph at the VLT to observe the known spectroscopic binary star HD 188088 (HIP 97944), which has a maximum expected separation of 23 milli-arcseconds. We measure an astrometric signal in radial velocity of 276 m s-1 , which corresponds to a separation between the two components at the time of the observations of 18 ± 2 milli-arcseconds. The stars were aligned east-west. We describe a simple optical device to simultaneously record pairs of spectra rotated by 180 degrees, thus reducing systematic effects. We compute and provide the function expressing the shift of the centroid of a seeing-limited image in the presence of a narrow slit.
Conclusions. The proposed technique is simple to use and our test shows that it is amenable for deriving astrometry with milli-arcsecond accuracy or better, beyond the diffraction limit of the telescope. The technique can be further improved by using simple devices to simultaneously record the spectra with 180 degrees angles. This device together with an optimized data analysis will further reduce the measurement errors. With tachoastrometry, radial velocities and astrometric positions can be measured simultaneously for many double line system binaries in an easy way. The method is not limited to binary stars, but can be applied to any astrophysical configuration in which spectral lines are generated by separate (non-rotational symmetric) regions.
Key words: techniques: high angular resolution / techniques: radial velocities / techniques: spectroscopic / binaries: spectroscopic
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