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Current WP activities

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White dwarf companions to PLATO P1/P2 stars

The PLATO P1 and P2 samples consist of dwarfs and subgiant stars with spectral types from F5 to K7 and magnitudes down to V=11. Based on the sample of known white dwarf stars (WD) within 25pc, we expect that about 50 of these stars will be in binary systems with a spatially-resolved WD companion. Some of these WD can be useful to establish benchmark systems where the age estimates for the P1/P2 star obtained from asteroseismology can be tied to an accurate age for the binary from the cooling-age of the WD.

“P1-like” stars in eclipsing binary systems

Pierre Maxted is leading an effort to identify “P1-like” stars in eclipsing binary systems with M-dwarf companions. High resolution infrared spectroscopy combined with high-quality light curves from TESS, CHEOPS, etc. will be used to measure model-independent mass and radii for these stars. These eclipsing binaries will then be used to conduct “end-to-end” tests to quantify the accuracy of PLATO data products. Nikki Miller is currently developing a method to measure precise model-independent effective temperatures for these stars based on their Gaia parallax and the integrated fluxes. Maira Bergemann and Vardan Adibekyan are currently analysing high-resolution spectroscopy for a large sample of these eclipsing binaries obtained as a result of the EBLM and BEBOP projects.