Polarized reflected light from the Spica binary system

Letter


Bailey, Jeremy, Cotton, Daniel V., Kedziora-Chudczer, Lucyna, De Horta, Ain and Maybour, Darren. 2019. "Polarized reflected light from the Spica binary system." Nature Astronomy. 3 (7), pp. 636-641. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41550-019-0738-7
Article Title

Polarized reflected light from the Spica
binary system

ERA Journal ID213748
Article CategoryLetter
AuthorsBailey, Jeremy, Cotton, Daniel V., Kedziora-Chudczer, Lucyna, De Horta, Ain and Maybour, Darren
Journal TitleNature Astronomy
Journal Citation3 (7), pp. 636-641
Number of Pages6
Year2019
PublisherNature Publishing Group
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN2397-3366
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1038/s41550-019-0738-7
Web Address (URL)https://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-019-0738-7
Abstract

Close binary systems often show linear polarization varying over the binary period, usually attributed to light scattered from electrons in circumstellar clouds1–3. One of the brightest close binary systems is Spica (alpha Virginis) consisting of two B-type stars orbiting with a period of just over four days. Past observations of Spica have shown low polarization with no evidence for variability4–6. Here we report new high-precision polarization observations of Spica that show variation with an amplitude of about 200 parts per million. By including polarized radiative transfer in a binary star model, we show that the phase-dependent polarization is mainly due to light reflected from the primary component of the binary system off the secondary component and vice versa. The stars reflect only a few per cent of the incident light, but the reflected light is very highly polarized. The polarization results show that the binary orbit is clockwise and the position angle of the line of nodes is 130.4° ± 6.8°, in agreement with intensity interferometer results7. We suggest that reflected light polarization may be much more important in binary systems than has previously been recognized and may be a way of detecting previously unrecognized close binaries.

ANZSRC Field of Research 20205201. Applied and developmental psychology
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FunderAustralian Research Council
Byline AffiliationsUniversity of New South Wales
Western Sydney University
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Zhou, G., Bayliss, D. D. R., Kedziora-Chudczer, L., Tinney, C. G., Bailey, J., Salter, G. and Rodriguez, J.. 2015. "Secondary eclipse observations for seven hot-Jupiters from the Anglo-Australian Telescope." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 454 (3), pp. 3002-3019. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stv2138
Signals embedded in the radial velocity noise: periodic variations in the tau Ceti velocities
Tuomi, M., Jones, H. R. A., Jenkins, J. S., Tinney, C. G., Butler, R. P., Vogt, S. S, Barnes, J. R., Wittenmyer, R. A., O'Toole, S. J., Horner, J., Bailey, J., Carter, B. D., Wright, D. J., Salter, G. S. and Pinfield, D.. 2013. "Signals embedded in the radial velocity noise: periodic variations in the tau Ceti velocities." Astronomy and Astrophysics: a European journal. 551 (A79), pp. 1-21. https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201220509
Forever alone? Testing single eccentric planetary systems for multiple companions
Wittenmyer, Robert A., Wang, Songhu, Horner, Jonathan, Tinney, C. G., Butler, R. P., Jones, H. R. A., O'Toole, S. J., Bailey, J., Carter, B. D., Salter, G. S., Wright, D. and Zhou, Ji-Lin. 2013. "Forever alone? Testing single eccentric planetary systems for multiple companions." Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series. 208 (1), pp. 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1088/0067-0049/208/1/2
Atmospheric modelling for the removal of telluric features from infrared planetary spectra
Cotton, Daniel V., Bailey, Jeremy and Kedziora-Chudczer, Lucyna. 2014. "Atmospheric modelling for the removal of telluric features from infrared planetary spectra." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 439 (1), pp. 387-399. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stt2465
Observing strategies for the detection of Jupiter analogs
Wittenmyer, Robert A., Tinney, C. G., Horner, J., Butler, R. P., Jones, H. R. A., O'Toole, S. J., Bailey, J., Carter, B. D., Salter, G. S. and Wright, D.. 2013. "Observing strategies for the detection of Jupiter analogs." Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. 125 (926), pp. 351-356. https://doi.org/10.1086/670680
Examining the Broadband Emission Spectrum of WASP-19b: A New z-band Eclipse Detection
Zhou, George, Kedziora-Chudczer, Lucyna, Bayliss, Daniel D. R. and Bailey, Jeremy. 2013. "Examining the Broadband Emission Spectrum of WASP-19b: A New z-band Eclipse Detection." The Astrophysical Journal: an international review of astronomy and astronomical physics. 774 (2), pp. 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637x/774/2/118
The Anglo-Australian planet search. XXII. Two new multi-planet systems
Wittenmyer, Robert A., Horner, J., Tuomi, Mikko, Salter, G. S., Tinney, C. G., Butler, R. P., Jones, H. R. A., O'Toole, S. J., Bailey, J., Carter, B. D., Jenkins, J. S., Zhang, Z., Vogt, S. S. and Rivera, Eugenio J.. 2012. "The Anglo-Australian planet search. XXII. Two new multi-planet systems." The Astrophysical Journal: an international review of astronomy and astronomical physics. 753 (2), pp. 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/753/2/169
A planetary system around the nearby M dwarf GJ 667C with at least one super-earth in its habitable zone
Anglada-Escude, Guillem, Arriagada, Pamela, Vogt, Steven S., Rivera, Eugenio J., Butler, R. Paul, Crane, Jeffrey D., Shectman, Stephen A., Thompson, Ian B., Minniti, Dante, Haghighipour, Nader, Carter, Brad D., Tinney, C. G., Wittenmyer, Robert A., Bailey, Jeremy A., O'Toole, Simon J., Jones, Hugh R. A. and Jenkins, James S.. 2012. "A planetary system around the nearby M dwarf GJ 667C with at least one super-earth in its habitable zone." The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 751 (1). https://doi.org/10.1088/2041-8205/751/1/L16
The Anglo-Australian planet search. XX. A solitary ice-giant planet orbiting HD 102365
Tinney, C. G., Butler, R. Paul, Jones, Hugh R. A., Wittenmyer, Robert A., O'Toole, Simon, Bailey, Jeremy and Carter, Brad D.. 2011. "The Anglo-Australian planet search. XX. A solitary ice-giant planet orbiting HD 102365." The Astrophysical Journal: an international review of astronomy and astronomical physics. 727 (2), p. 103. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/727/2/103
The Anglo-Australian planet search. XXI. A gas-giant planet in a one year orbit and the habitability of gas-giant satellites
Tinney, C. G., Wittenmyer, Robert A., Butler, R. Paul, Jones, Hugh R. A., O'Toole, Simon J., Bailey, Jeremy A., Carter, Brad D. and Horner, J.. 2011. "The Anglo-Australian planet search. XXI. A gas-giant planet in a one year orbit and the habitability of gas-giant satellites." The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 732 (1), pp. 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/732/1/31
On the frequency of Jupiter analogs
Wittenmyer, Robert A., Tinney, C. G., O'Toole, Simon J., Jones, H. R. A., Butler, R. P., Carter, B. D. and Bailey, J.. 2011. "On the frequency of Jupiter analogs." The Astrophysical Journal: an international review of astronomy and astronomical physics. 727 (2), pp. 102:1-102:16. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/727/2/102
The frequency of low-mass exoplanets III: toward η⊕ at short periods
Wittenmyer, Robert A., Tinney, C. G., Butler, R. P., O'Toole, Simon J., Jones, H. R. A., Carter, B. D., Bailey, J. and Horner, J.. 2011. "The frequency of low-mass exoplanets III: toward η⊕ at short periods." The Astrophysical Journal: an international review of astronomy and astronomical physics. 738 (1), pp. 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/738/1/81
Radio-continuum study of the Nearby sculptor group galaxies. Part 1: NGC 300 at λ=20 cm
Galvin, Timothy J., Filipovic, Miroslav D., Crawford, Evan J., Wong, Graeme, Payne, Jeff L., De Horta, Ain, White, Graeme L., Tothill, Nick, Drašković, Danica, Pannuti, Thomas G., Grimes, Caleb K., Cahall, Benjamin J., Millar, William C. and Laine, Seppo. 2012. "Radio-continuum study of the Nearby sculptor group galaxies. Part 1: NGC 300 at λ=20 cm ." Astrophysics and Space Science: an international journal of astronomy, astrophysics and space science. 340 (1), pp. 133-142. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10509-012-1044-3
A Jupiter-like planet orbiting the nearby M dwarf GJ 832
Bailey, Jeremy, Butler, R. Paul, Tinney, C. G., Jones, Hugh R. A., O'Toole, Simon, Carter, Brad D. and Marcy, Geoffrey W.. 2009. "A Jupiter-like planet orbiting the nearby M dwarf GJ 832." The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 690 (1), pp. 743-747. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/690/1/743
Selection functions in doppler planet searches
O'Toole, S. J., Tinney, C. G., Jones, H. R. A., Butler, R. P., Marcy, G. W., Carter, B. D. and Bailey, J.. 2009. "Selection functions in doppler planet searches." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 392 (2), pp. 641-654. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.14051.x
A Neptune-mass planet orbiting the nearby G dwarf HD 16417
O'Toole, Simon, Tinney, C. G., Butler, R. Paul, Jones, Hugh R. A., Bailey, Jeremy, Carter, Brad D., Vogt, Steven S., Laughlin, Gregory and Rivera, Eugenio J.. 2009. "A Neptune-mass planet orbiting the nearby G dwarf HD 16417." The Astrophysical Journal: an international review of astronomy and astronomical physics. 697 (2), pp. 1263-1268. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/697/2/1263
The frequency of low-mass exoplanets
O'Toole, S. J., Jones, H. R. A., Tinney, C. G., Butler, R. P., Marcy, G. W., Carter, B. D., Bailey, J. and Wittenmyer, R. A.. 2009. "The frequency of low-mass exoplanets." The Astrophysical Journal: an international review of astronomy and astronomical physics. 701 (2), pp. 1732-1741. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/701/2/1732
Beyond the Iron Peak: r- and s-Process Elemental Abundances in Stars with Planets
Bond, J. C., Lauretta, D. S., Tinney, C. G., Butler, R. P., Marcy, G. W., Jones, H. R. A., Carter, B. D., O'Toole, S. J. and Bailey, J.. 2008. "Beyond the Iron Peak: r- and s-Process Elemental Abundances in Stars with Planets." The Astrophysical Journal: an international review of astronomy and astronomical physics. 682 (2), pp. 1234-1247. https://doi.org/10.1086/589236
High-eccentricity planets from the Anglo-Australian Planet Search
Jones, Hugh R. A., Butler, R. Paul, Tinney, Chris G., Marcy, Geoffrey W., Carter, Brad D., Penny, Alan J., McCarthy, Chris and Bailey, Jeremy. 2006. "High-eccentricity planets from the Anglo-Australian Planet Search." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 369 (1), pp. 249-256. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2006.10298.x
The 2:1 resonant exoplanetary system orbiting HD 73526
Tinney, Chris G., Butler, R. Paul, Marcy, Geoffrey W., Jones, Hugh R. A., Laughlin, Gregory, Carter, Brad D., Bailey, Jeremy and O'Toole, Simon J.. 2006. "The 2:1 resonant exoplanetary system orbiting HD 73526." The Astrophysical Journal: an international review of astronomy and astronomical physics. 647 (1), pp. 594-599. https://doi.org/10.1086/503706
New planets around three G Dwarfs
O'Toole, Simon J., Butler, R. Paul, Tinney, Chris G., Jones, Hugh R. A., Marcy, Geoffrey W., Carter, Brad, McCarthy, Chris, Bailey, Jeremy, Penny, Alan J., Apps, Kevin and Fischer, Debra A.. 2007. "New planets around three G Dwarfs." The Astrophysical Journal: an international review of astronomy and astronomical physics. 660 (2), pp. 1636-1641. https://doi.org/10.1086/513563
A super-Earth and two Neptunes orbiting the nearby Sun-like star 61 Virginis
Vogt, Steven S., Wittenmyer, Robert A., Butler, R. Paul, O'Toole, Simon, Henry, Gregory W., Rivera, Eugenio J., Meschiari, Stefano, Laughlin, Gregory, Tinney, C. G., Jones, Hugh R. A., Bailey, Jeremy, Carter, Brad D. and Batygin, Konstantin. 2010. "A super-Earth and two Neptunes orbiting the nearby Sun-like star 61 Virginis." The Astrophysical Journal: an international review of astronomy and astronomical physics. 708 (2), pp. 1366-1375. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/708/2/1366
The frequency of low-mass exoplanets. II. The 'period valley'
Wittenmyer, Robert A., O'Toole, Simon J., Jones, H. R. A., Tinney, C. G., Butler, R. P., Carter, B. D. and Bailey, J.. 2010. "The frequency of low-mass exoplanets. II. The 'period valley'." The Astrophysical Journal: an international review of astronomy and astronomical physics. 722 (2), pp. 1854-1863. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/722/2/1854
A long-period planet orbiting a nearby Sun-like star
Jones, Hugh R. A., Butler, R. Paul, Tinney, C. G., O'Toole, Simon, Wittenmyer, Rob, Henry, Gregory W., Meschiari, Stefano, Vogt, Steve, Rivera, Eugenio, Laughlin, Greg, Carter, Brad D., Bailey, Jeremy and Jenkins, James S.. 2010. "A long-period planet orbiting a nearby Sun-like star." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 403 (4), pp. 1703-1713. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.16232.x
Exoplanet properties from Lick, Keck and AAT
Marcy, G. W., Butler, R. P., Vogt, S. S., Fischer, D. A., Wright, J. T., Johnson, J. A., Tinney, C. G., Jones, H. R. A., Carter, B. D., Bailey, J., O'Toole, S. J. and Upadhyay, S.. 2008. "Exoplanet properties from Lick, Keck and AAT." Piskunov, Nikolai, Rickman, hans and Gustafsson, Bengt (ed.) Nobel Symposium 135: Physics of Planetary Systems. Stockholm, Sweden 18 - 22 Jun 2007 Bristol, United Kingdom. IOP Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1088/0031-8949/2008/T130/014001
Optical spectra of radio planetary nebulae in the small Magellanic cloud
Payne, J.L., Filipovic, M.D., Crawford, E.J., De Horta, A.Y., White G.L. and H.Stootman, F.H.. 2008. "Optical spectra of radio planetary nebulae in the small Magellanic cloud ." Serbian Astronomical Journal. 2008 (176), pp. 65-70. https://doi.org/10.2298/SAJ0876065P