NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0392

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Proposal Information for 2011A-0392


PI: Jeffrey L. Coughlin, New Mexico State University, jlcough@nmsu.edu
Address: Astronomy Department, P. O. Box 30001, MSC 4500, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003-8001, USA

CoI: Mercedes Lopez-Morales, Institut de Ciencies de l'Espai (CSIC-IEEC)
CoI: Thomas Harrison, New Mexico State University
CoI: Ramon Iglesias Marzoa, Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias
CoI: Nicholas Ule, New Mexico State University

Title: Radial-Velocity Measurements of Long-Period, Low-Mass Eclipsing Binaries from Kepler

Abstract: An outstanding problem in Astronomy for the past 15^+ years has been that the radii of low-mass, (M < 1.0 M_\sun), main-sequence stars in eclipsing binary systems are consistently about ~15% larger than predicted by theoretical models. The main cause is hypothesized to be rapid rotation due to binary spin-up, as all currently known systems have P < 3.0 days. We have recently discovered 78 new low-mass, main-sequence, double-lined eclipsing binaries via the Kepler mission, 25 of which have periods greater than 10.0 days, where the stars should be at their `natural' rotation rates (Coughlin et al. 2010). We propose to obtain radial velocities of these systems via the 4-meter telescope and RC spectrograph, which when combined with the existing Kepler photometry, as well as multi-color photometry from our NMSU 1-meter telescope, will allow the determination of mass and effective temperature of each component in each system to ~1-2%. With many of these systems well studied, we will finally be able to test the hypothesis of binary spin-up as the main cause of low-mass stellar radii inflation.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0392

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