NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2005B-0416

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Proposal Information for 2005B-0416


PI: Marcos Huerta, Rice University, marcosh@rice.edu
Address: Department of Physics and Astronomy, MS-108, 6100 Main Street, Houston, TX 77005, United States

CoI: Patrick Hartigan, Rice University

Title: Removing a Major Uncertainty in Mass and Age Determinations of Young Stars

Abstract: Mass and age measurements of young stars rely on the stars' placement in an HR diagram relative to pre-main-sequence evolutionary tracks. Uncertainties in T_\rm eff include a systematic error introduced by converting spectral types to T_\rm eff according to a conversion scale derived from main-sequence stars. The advent of sophisticated synthetic spectra and modern molecular opacities offers us an opportunity to determine a new T_\rm eff scale designed for young stars. We propose to measure T_\rm eff for a large sample of non- accreting (weak-lined) T Tauri stars using low resolution red spectra on Goldcam. The resulting spectra will make it possible to estimate T_\rm eff for any young star by simply finding the best spectral match with a star in our sample. This procedure will also work for accreting (classical) T Tauri stars, where weak-lined T Tauri stars are used as photospheric templates to distinguish stellar features from accretion signatures.


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