A Dynamical Mass Constraint for Pre-Main-Sequence Evolutionary Tracks: The Binary NTT 045251+3016

Astronomy and Astrophysics – Astrophysics

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27 pages, 6 figures, 5 tables -- accepted by AJ

Scientific paper

10.1086/321155

We present an astrometric/spectroscopic orbital solution for the pre-main-sequence binary NTT 045251+3016. Our measurements for the primary and secondary masses are 1.45 +/- 0.19 M_sun and 0.81 +/- 0.09 M_sun, respectively, and 145 +/- 8 pc for the distance of the system, consistent with prior estimates for the Taurus-Auriga star-forming region. The evolutionary tracks of D'Antona & Mazzitelli (1997), Baraffe et al. (1998), and Palla & Stahler (1999) are tested against these dynamical mass measurements. Due to the intrinsic color/T_eff variation within the K5 spectral class, each pre-main-sequence model provides a mass range for the primary. The theoretical mass range derived from the Baraffe et al. (1998) tracks that use a mixing length parameter alpha=1.0 is closest to our measured primary mass, deviating between 1.3 and 1.6 sigma. The set of Baraffe et al. (1998) tracks that use alpha=1.9 deviate between 1.6 and 2.1 sigma from our measured primary mass. The mass range given by the Palla & Stahler (1999) tracks for the primary star deviate between 1.6 and 2.9 sigma. The D'Antona & Mazzitelli (1997) tracks give a mass range that deviates by at least 3.0 sigma from our derived primary mass, strongly suggesting that these tracks are inconsistent with our observation. Observations of the secondary are less constraining than those of the primary, but the deviations between the dynamical mass of the secondary and the mass inferred for the secondary from the various pre-main-sequence tracks mirror the deviations of the primary star. All of the pre-main-sequence tracks are consistent with coevality of the components of NTT 045251+3016.

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