Measurements of radial velocity variations from the spectroscopic monitoring of stars and their companions are essential for a broad swath of astrophysics; these measurements provide access to the fundamental physical properties that dictate all phases of stellar evolution and facilitate the quantitative study of planetary systems. The conversion of those measurements into both constraints on the orbital architecture and individual component spectra can be a serious challenge, however, especially for extreme flux ratio systems and observations with relatively low sensitivity. Gaussian processes define sampling distributions of flexible, continuous functions that are well-motivated for modeling stellar spectra, enabling proficient searches for companion lines in time-series spectra. We introduce a new technique for spectral disentangling, where the posterior distributions of the orbital parameters and intrinsic, rest-frame stellar spectra are explored simultaneously without needing to invoke cross-correlation templates. To demonstrate its potential, this technique is deployed on red-optical time-series spectra of the mid-M-dwarf binary LP661-13. We report orbital parameters with improved precision compared to traditional radial velocity analysis and successfully reconstruct the primary and secondary spectra. We discuss potential applications for other stellar and exoplanet radial velocity techniques and extensions to time-variable spectra. The code used in this analysis is freely available as an open-source Python package.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science