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Visual/infrared interferometry of Orion Trapezium stars: preliminary dynamical orbit and aperture synthesis imaging of the θ^1 Orionis C system

Kraus, S. and Balega, Y. Y. and Berger, J.-P. and Hofmann, K.-H. and Millan-Gabet, R. and Monnier, J. D. and Ohnaka, K. and Pedretti, E. and Preibisch, Th. and Schertl, D. and Schloerb, F. P. and Traub, W. A. and Weigelt, G. (2007) Visual/infrared interferometry of Orion Trapezium stars: preliminary dynamical orbit and aperture synthesis imaging of the θ^1 Orionis C system. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 466 (2). pp. 649-659. ISSN 0004-6361.

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Context. Located in the Orion Trapezium cluster, θ^1 Ori C is one of the youngest and nearest high-mass stars (O5-O7) known. Besides its unique properties as a magnetic rotator, the system is also known to be a close binary. Aims. By tracing its orbital motion, we aim to determine the orbit and dynamical mass of the system, yielding a characterization of the individual components and, ultimately, also new constraints for stellar evolution models in the high-mass regime. Furthermore, a dynamical parallax can be derived from the orbit, providing an independent estimate for the distance of the Trapezium cluster. Methods. Using new multi-epoch visual and near-infrared bispectrum speckle interferometric observations obtained at the BTA 6 m telescope, and IOTA near-infrared long-baseline interferometry, we traced the orbital motion of the θ^1 Ori C components over the interval 1997.8 to 2005.9, covering a significant arc of the orbit. Besides fitting the relative position and the flux ratio, we applied aperture synthesis techniques to our IOTA data to reconstruct a model-independent image of the θ^1 Ori C binary system. Results. The orbital solutions suggest a highly eccentricity (e ≈ 0.91) and short-period (P ≈ 10.9 yrs) orbit. As the current astrometric data only allows rather weak constraints on the total dynamical mass, we present the two best-fit orbits. Of these two, the one implying a system mass of 48 M_☉ and a distance of 434 pc to the Trapezium cluster can be favored. When also taking the measured flux ratio and the derived location in the HR-diagram into account, we find good agreement for all observables, assuming a spectral type of O5.5 for θ^1 Ori C1 (M = 34.0 M_☉, T_(eff) = 39 900 K) and O9.5 for C2 (M = 15.5 M_☉, T_(eff) = 31 900 K). Using IOTA, we also obtained first interferometric observations on θ^1 Ori D, finding some evidence for a resolved structure, maybe by a faint, close companion. Conclusions. We find indications that the companion C2 is massive itself, which makes it likely that its contribution to the intense UV radiation field of the Trapezium cluster is non-negligible. Furthermore, the high eccentricity of the preliminary orbit solution predicts a very small physical separation during periastron passage (~1.5 AU, next passage around 2007.5), suggesting strong wind-wind interaction between the two O stars.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Kraus, S.0000-0001-6017-8773
Berger, J.-P.0000-0001-5025-0428
Millan-Gabet, R.0000-0003-0447-5866
Monnier, J. D.0000-0002-3380-3307
Additional Information:© 2007 ESO. Received 19 December 2006; accepted 7 February 2007. We appreciate support by the IOTA technical staff, especially M. Lacasse and P. Schuller. We would like to thank the anonymous referee for helpful comments which improved the paper. SK was supported for this research through a fellowship from the International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) for Radio and Infrared Astronomy at the University of Bonn.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
International Max Planck Research School for Radio and Infrared AstronomyUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:stars: pre-main sequence; stars: fundamental parameters; stars: binaries: close; techniques: interferometric; stars: individual: θ^1 Orionis C, θ^1 Orionis D
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100423-135408637
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Official Citation:Visual/infrared interferometry of Orion Trapezium stars: preliminary dynamical orbit and aperture synthesis imaging of the θ1 Orionis C system S. Kraus, Y. Y. Balega, J.-P. Berger, K.-H. Hofmann, R. Millan-Gabet, J. D. Monnier, K. Ohnaka, E. Pedretti, Th. Preibisch, D. Schertl, F. P. Schloerb, W. A. Traub and G. Weigelt A&A 466 (2) 649-659 (2007) DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20066965
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:18061
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:26 Apr 2010 17:11
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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