NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010B-0341

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Proposal Information for 2010B-0341


PI: Sergio Dieterich, Georgia State University, dieterich@chara.gsu.edu
Address: Department of Physics and Astronomy, Atlanta, GA, 30303, USA

CoI: Todd Henry, Georgia State University
CoI: Wei Chun Jao, Georgia State University
CoI: Adric Riedel, Georgia State University

Title: Probing Stellar Physics at the Bottom of the Main Sequence: Continuing the Pursuit of Dynamical Masses

Abstract: We propose to continue our Gemini North NIRI/ALTAIR campaign to obtain dynamical masses for nearby binary systems with masses close to the hydrogen burning limit. As a continuation of Gemini program GN-2009B-Q-10 (NOAO ID 2009B-0432), we propose to obtain resolved JHK photometry for 15 Very Low Mass (VLM) binaries. All binaries will eventually yield model independent dynamical masses with both the total mass and the system's mass ratio well constrained by our unique method of combining high resolution imaging with astrometric photocentric orbits obtained through our parallax and astrometric monitoring program. Ten targets have previously been resolved as binaries by this campaign, and we now propose to obtain second epochs for orbital mapping. Three additional targets are unconfirmed binaries for which we have detected astrometric perturbations and/or noted excess flux in a color-magnitude diagram. These targets very likely harbor low mass companions. The remaining two targets have been previously resolved by others, and have unpublished astrometric photocentric orbits mapped out by our astrometric monitoring program. At least one more epoch of resolved high resolution imaging is necessary to obtain mass ratios for these two last objects. This effort constitutes a major component of the PI's doctoral thesis.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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