YSOVAR: Six pre-main-sequence eclipsing binaries in the Orion Nebula Cluster

M. Morales-Calderón, J. R. Stauffer, K. G. Stassun, F. J. Vrba, L. Prato, L. A. Hillenbrand, S. Terebey, K. R. Covey, L. M. Rebull, D. M. Terndrup, R. Gutermuth, I. Song, P. Plavchan, J. M. Carpenter, F. Marchis, E. V. García, S. Margheim, K. L. Luhman, J. Angione, J. M. Irwin

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33 Scopus citations


Eclipsing binaries (EBs) provide critical laboratories for empirically testing predictions of theoretical models of stellar structure and evolution. Pre-main-sequence (PMS) EBs are particularly valuable, both due to their rarity and the highly dynamic nature of PMS evolution, such that a dense grid of PMS EBs is required to properly calibrate theoretical PMS models. Analyzing multi-epoch, multi-color light curves for 2400 candidate Orion Nebula Cluster (ONC) members from our Warm Spitzer Exploration Science Program YSOVAR, we have identified 12 stars whose light curves show eclipse features. Four of these 12 EBs are previously known. Supplementing our light curves with follow-up optical and near-infrared spectroscopy, we establish two of the candidates as likely field EBs lying behind the ONC. We confirm the remaining six candidate systems, however, as newly identified ONC PMS EBs. These systems increase the number of known PMS EBs by over 50% and include the highest mass (θ1 Ori E, for which we provide a complete set of well-determined parameters including component masses of 2.807 and 2.797 M) and longest-period (ISOY J053505.71-052354.1, P 20 days) PMS EBs currently known. In two cases (θ1 Ori E and ISOY J053526.88-044730.7), enough photometric and spectroscopic data exist to attempt an orbit solution and derive the system parameters. For the remaining systems, we combine our data with literature information to provide a preliminary characterization sufficient to guide follow-up investigations of these rare, benchmark systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number149
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 10 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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