We present results from the B-type Binaries Characterisation (BBC) programme, a multi-epoch spectroscopic study of 88 early B-type binary candidates in the 30 Doradus region of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). From radial-velocity analysis of 29 observational epochs we confirm the binary status of 64 of our targets, comprising 50 SB1 and 14 SB2 B-type binaries. A further 20 systems (classified as SB1*) show clear signs of periodicity but with more tentative periods. Orbital solutions are presented for these 84 systems, providing the largest homogeneous sample to date of the binary properties of early B-type stars. Our derived orbital-period distribution is generally similar to those for samples of more massive (O-type) binaries in both the LMC and the Galaxy. This similarity with the properties of the more massive O-type binaries is important as early B-type stars are expected to account for the majority of core-collapse supernovae. Differences in the period distributions of the different samples start to increase above 4 d, and are also present between the earliest (B0-0.7) and later-type (B1-2.5) systems within the BBC sample, although further study is required to understand if this is an observational bias or a real physical effect. We have examined the semi-amplitude velocities and orbital periods of our sample to identify potential candidates that could hide compact companions. Comparing with probability distributions of finding black hole companions to OB-type stars from a recent theoretical study, we have found 16 binaries in the higher probability region that warrant further study.
- Space and Planetary Science
- Astronomy and Astrophysics