NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009B-0040

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Proposal Information for 2009B-0040


PI: Gail Schaefer, The CHARA Array of Georgia State University, schaefer@chara-array.org
Address: Mount Wilson Observatory, Mount Wilson, CA 91023, USA

CoI: Lisa Prato, Lowell Observatory
CoI: Michal Simon, SUNY Stony Brook

Title: Precise Masses of Young Stars in Taurus

Abstract: We propose to measure precise stellar masses of pre-main sequence binary stars by mapping their orbital motion. We request 1.5 nights on the Keck II telescope with natural-guide star adaptive optics. We propose to use the NIRC2 camera to map the visual orbits of the binary systems and NIRSPAO to measure their radial velocity curves. With separations of ~0.03-0.1'', our targets require the high angular resolution provided by Keck. The proposed observations will yield precision masses for Elias 12Na and Nb, will refine preliminary orbit fits for several other targets, and will lay critical groundwork for the longest period systems in our sample. Because some of the target periods are measured in tens of years, these efforts are slow but the outcome is astrophysically invaluable: Results from this program will provide key empirical data for testing pre-main sequence theoretical models, for determining binary formation mechanisms, and for investigating the dynamical evolution of young multiple systems in nearby star forming regions.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009B-0040

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