Jiménez Esteban, F. M., Solano, E., Rodrigo, C. 2019. A Catalog of Wide Binary and Multiple Systems of Bright Stars from Gaia-DR2 and the Virtual Observatory. Astronomical journal 157, 2 DOI: 10.3847/1538-3881/aafacc
Binary and multiple stars have long provided an effective empirical method of testing stellar formation and evolution theories. In particular, the existence of wide binary systems (separations >20,000 au) is particularly challenging to binary formation models as their physical separations are beyond the typical size of a collapsing cloud core (similar to 5000-10,000 au). We mined the recently published Gaia-DR2 catalog to identify bright comoving systems in the five-dimensional space (sky position, parallax, and proper motion). We identified 3741 comoving binary and multiple stellar candidate systems, out of which 575 have compatible radial velocities for all the members of the system. The candidate systems have separations between similar to 400 and 500,000 au. We used the analysis tools of the Virtual Observatory to characterize the comoving system members and to assess their reliability. The comparison with previous comoving systems catalogs obtained from TGAS showed that these catalogs contain a large number of false systems. In addition, we were not able to confirm the ultra-wide binary population presented in these catalogs. The robustness of our methodology is demonstrated by the identification of well known comoving star clusters and by the low contamination rate for comoving binary systems with projected physical separations <50,000 au. These last constitute a reliable sample for further studies. The catalog is available online at the Spanish Virtual Observatory portal (http:// svo2.cab.inta-csic.es /vocats /v2/comovingGaiaDR2/).