The white dwarf binary pathways survey −III. Contamination from hierarchical triples containing a white dwarf

F. Lagos, M. R. Schreiber, S. G. Parsons, A. Zurlo, D. Mesa, B. T. Gänsicke, R. Brahm, C. Caceres, H. Canovas, M. S. Hernandez, A. Jordan, D. Koester, L. Schmidtobreick, C. Tappert, M. Zorotovic

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The White Dwarf Binary Pathways Survey aims at increasing the number of known detached A, F, G, and K main-sequence stars in close orbits with white dwarf companions (WD+AFGK binaries) to refine our understanding about compact binary evolution and the nature of Supernova Ia progenitors. These close WD+AFGK binary stars are expected to form through common envelope evolution, in which tidal forces tend to circularize the orbit. However, some of the identified WD+AFGK binary candidates show eccentric orbits, indicating that these systems are either formed through a different mechanism or perhaps they are not close WD+AFGK binaries. We observed one of these eccentric WD+AFGK binaries with SPHERE and find that the system TYC 7218-934-1 is in fact a triple system where the WD is a distant companion. The inner binary likely consists of the G-type star plus an unseen low-mass companion in an eccentric orbit. Based on this finding, we estimate the fraction of triple systems that could contaminate the WD+AFGK sample. We find that less than 15 per cent of our targets with orbital periods shorter than 100 d might be hierarchical triples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)915-922
Number of pages8
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


  • Binaries: close
  • Dynamics
  • Methods: numerical
  • Methods: statistical
  • Stars: kinematics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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