NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011B-0110

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Proposal Information for 2011B-0110


PI: Mark R. Boyd, Georgia State University, boyd@chara.gsu.edu
Address: Physics Department, 704 One Park Place, Atlanta, GA 30302, USA

CoI: Todd J. Henry, Georgia State University
CoI: John P. Subasavage, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory

Title: A Search for Close Red Dwarf-White Dwarf Binaries

Abstract: We propose to observe 59 objects suspected to be red dwarf-white dwarf (RD-WD) binaries with separations < 3\arcsec using the CTIO 1.0m. Our goals are to use images of these objects to both resolve the systems and to obtain accurate BVRI photometry. The systems have been selected based on positions in three different color-color plots using SuperCOSMOS BRI plate photometry and 2MASS JHK photometry in accordance with the positions of known RD-WD binaries. This effort will identify candidates for detailed observations as part of the RECONS astrometric program on the CTIO 0.9m to yield accurate parallaxes and photocentric orbits. The parallaxes will then be used to determine the ages of the systems from WD cooling curves, and the orbits will eventually be used to measure dynamical masses. Ultimately, we aim to increase significantly the number of dynamical masses for white dwarfs because currently only three have been determined to 5% accuracy. The first observational step outlined here will allow us to identify appropriate systems for long-term work. This 1.0m project is likely to become the undergraduate senior thesis work of the PI.


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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