NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2018A-0286

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Program Information for 2018A-0286


PI: Eric Sandquist, San Diego State U., esandquist@mail.sdsu.edu
Address: Astronomy Department, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182 USA

Title: Really Measuring Age and Stellar Masses from Bright Binaries in the Open Cluster Praesepe

Abstract: Knowledge of stellar mass is critical to fully understand any aspect of stellar evolution, and measurements from binaries are the most precise and reliable means of getting them. But when a binary contains an evolved star, the mass, along with other well-determined characteristics like the photometry, can also be used to precisely determine age. Praesepe/M44 (age about 600-800 Myr) is a nearby, well- studied cluster that has impacted our understanding of gyrochronology and the white dwarf initial mass-final mass relation, and it is one of a few clusters known to harbor planets. With Kepler K2 mission observations of the majority of the cluster now available (and more possibly to come), Praesepe's influence will grow, and should soon influence giant star asteroseismology as well. While no {it eclipsing} binaries are known among the brightest stars, the cluster is close enough for us to observe orbital motion with interferometry. We request observations with CHARA/CLIMB to characterize the interferometric orbits of two bright double-lined spectroscopic binaries in this young open cluster in order to precisely measure the component star masses. Our primary target is the brightest cluster member, containing one of the three brightest main sequence stars. The proposed observations would produce underline{precise fundamental stellar mass data} of a kind that is underline{very rarely available} to test our knowledge of stellar evolution.

Program Type: Standard/Galactic

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2018A):  CHARA/Climb -- 15hrs
Run 2 (2018A):  CHARA/Climb -- 15hrs
Run 3 (2018A):  CHARA/Climb -- 5hrs
Run 4 (2018A):  CHARA/Climb -- 5hrs


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