NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0340

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Proposal Information for 2011A-0340


PI: Sergio B Dieterich, Georgia State University, dieterich@chara.gsu.edu
Address: Department of Physics and Astronomy, 29 Peachtree Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA

CoI: Todd J Henry, Georgia State University
CoI: Wei-Chun Jao, Georgia State University
CoI: Adric R Riedel, Georgia State University
CoI: Angelle M Tanner, 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-2010B-Q-9 (NOAO 2010B-0341), we propose to obtain resolved JHKs photometry for eight suspected or confirmed 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 orbits obtained through our parallax program. All systems are believed to have at least one component whose mass is close to the theoretical hydrogen burning limit of 0.075 Msol. One target has been previously resolved as a binary by this program, and we now request a second epoch to aid in orbital mapping. Four targets have unseen companions for which we have detected new astrometric perturbations. These targets very likely harbor VLM companions. The final three targets show excess flux in our new optical color-magnitude relation. This last group includes a target that is photometrically almost identical to the benchmark L2V binary Kelu 1 AB. This effort constitutes a major component of the PI's doctoral thesis.


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