The metallicity of the CM Draconis system

Ryan C. Terrien, Scott W. Fleming, Suvrath Mahadevan, Rohit Deshpande, Gregory A. Feiden, Chad F. Bender, Lawrence W. Ramsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The CM Draconis system comprises two eclipsing mid-M dwarfs of nearly equal mass in a 1.27day orbit. This well-studied eclipsing binary has often been used for benchmark tests of stellar models, since its components are among the lowest mass stars with well-measured masses and radii (≲ 1% relative precision). However, as with many other low-mass stars, non-magnetic models have been unable to match the observed radii and effective temperatures for CM Dra at the 5%-10% level. To date, the uncertain metallicity of the system has complicated comparison of theoretical isochrones with observations. In this Letter, we use data from the SpeX instrument on the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility to measure the metallicity of the system during primary and secondary eclipses, as well as out of eclipse, based on an empirical metallicity calibration in the H and K near-infrared (NIR) bands. We derive an [Fe/H] = -0.30 ± 0.12 that is consistent across all orbital phases. The determination of [Fe/H] for this system constrains a key dimension of parameter space when attempting to reconcile model isochrone predictions and observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL9
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 20 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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