A dynamical mass constraint for pre-main-sequence evolutionary tracks: The binary ntt 045251 + 3016

Aaron T. Steffen, Robert D. Mathieu, Mario G. Lattanzi, David W. Latham, Tsevi Mazeh, L. Prato, Michal Simon, Hans Zinnecker, Davide Loreggia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present an astrometric-spectroscopic orbital solution for the pre-main-sequence binary NTT 045251 + 3016. Interferometric observations with the HST Fine Guidance Sensor No. 3 allowed stellar separations as small as 14 mas to be measured. Optical spectra provided 58 radial velocity measurements of the primary star, and near-infrared spectra provided two radial velocity measurements of both the primary and secondary, giving a mass ratio for the binary system. The combination of these data allows the dynamical masses and the distance of the stars to be derived. Our measurements for the primary and secondary masses are 1.45 ± 0.19 and 0.81 ± 0.09 M, 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, published in 1997, Baraffe et al., published in 1998, and Palla & Stahler, published in 1999, are tested against these dynamical mass measurements. Because of the intrinsic color-Teff 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. tracks that use a mixing-length parameter of α = 1.0 is closest to our measured primary mass, deviating between 1.3 and 1.6 σ. The set of Baraffe et al. tracks that use α = 1.9 deviates between 1.6 and 2.1 σ from our measured primary mass. The mass range given by the Palla & Stahler tracks for the primary star deviate between 1.6 and 2.9 σ. The D'Antona & Mazzitelli tracks give a mass range that deviates by at least 3.0 σ 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 the pre-main-sequence tracks are consistent with coevality of the components of NTT 045251 + 3016.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)997-1006
Number of pages10
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2001


  • Binaries: spectroscopic
  • Binaries: visual
  • Stars: evolution
  • Stars: pre-main-sequence


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