Search for stellar companions of exoplanet host stars with AstraLux/CAHA 2.2 m

Saskia Schlagenhauf, Markus Mugrauer, Christian Ginski, Sven Buder, Matilde Fernández, Richard Bischoff

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Stellar multiplicity is a key aspect of exoplanet diversity, as the presence of more than one star in a planetary system can have both devastating and positive effects on its formation and evolution. In this paper, we present the results of a Lucky Imaging survey of 212 exoplanet host stars performed with AstraLux at the 2.2 m telescope of the Centro Astronómico Hispano en Andalucía. The survey includes data from seven observing epochs between August 2015 and September 2020, and data for individual targets from four earlier observing epochs. The targets of this survey are nearby, bright, solar-like stars with high proper motions. In total, we detected 46 co-moving companions of 43 exoplanet host stars. Accordingly, this survey shows that the minimum multiplicity rate of exoplanet host stars is $20 \pm 3~{\rm per\ cent}$. In total, 33 binary and 10 hierarchical triple star systems with exoplanets have been identified. All companions were found to have a common proper motion with the observed exoplanet host stars, and with our astrometry we even find evidence of orbital motion for 28 companions. For all targets, we determine the detection limit and explore the detection space for possible additional companions of these stars. Based on the reached detection limit, additional co-moving companions beyond the detected ones can be excluded around all observed exoplanet host stars. The increasing number of exoplanets discovered in multiple stellar systems suggests that the formation of planets in such systems is by no means rare, but common. Therefore, our study highlights the need to consider stellar multiplicity in future studies of exoplanet habitability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4768-4786
Number of pages19
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Early online date19 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2024


  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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