Volume 457, Number 1, October I 2006
|Page(s)||L9 - L12|
|Published online||12 September 2006|
Letter to the Editor
Accurate stellar masses in the multiple system T Tauri
Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Grenoble, BP 53, 38041 Grenoble Cedex 9, France e-mail: email@example.com
2 Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1562, USA
Accepted: 26 July 2006
Aims.We obtain accurate estimates for the individual masses of the components of the tight binary system T Tau S to settle the ongoing debate on the nature of T Tau Sa, a so-called infrared companion.
Methods.We take advantage of the fact that T Tau S belongs to a triple system composed of two hierarchical orbits to simultaneously analyze the motion of T Tau Sb in the rest frames of T Tau Sa and T Tau N. With this method, it is possible to pinpoint the location of the center of mass of T Tau S and, thereby, to determine individual masses for T Tau Sa and T Tau Sb with no prior assumption about the mass/flux ratio of the system. This improvement over previous studies of the system results in much better constraints on orbital parameters.
Results.We find individual masses of for T Tau Sa and of for T Tau Sb (in agreement with its early-M spectral type), including the uncertainty on the distance to the system. These are among the most precise estimates of the mass of any Pre-Main Sequence star, a remarkable result since this is the first system in which individual masses of T Tauri stars can be determined from astrometry only. This model-independent analysis confirms that T Tau Sa is an intermediate-mass star, presumably a very young Herbig Ae star, that may possess an almost edge-on disk.
Key words: stars: individual: T Tau / stars: pre-main sequence / binaries: close / astrometry
© ESO, 2006
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