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A search for T Tauri's optical companion star

Gorham, P. W. and Ghez, A. M. and Haniff, C. A. and Kulkarni, S. R. and Matthews, K. and Neugebauer, G. (1992) A search for T Tauri's optical companion star. Astronomical Journal, 103 (3). pp. 953-959. ISSN 0004-6256. doi:10.1086/116117.

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Speckle interferometric observations of the pre-main-sequence stellar system T Tauri at 650 and 800 nm, and at 1.6 (H) and 2.2 µm (K) in the infrared using the Palomar 200 in. telescope yield no evidence for a tertiary optical companion star as reported in 1985. The present observations were of sufficient sensitivity to have detected the object unambiguously if it had remained at its reported brightness and color. The infrared results provide particularly stringent limits on the presence of a third star in the system, since both the optical and southern infrared component are clearly resolved to the diffraction limit of the 200 in. telescope, including the H band where the southern component appeared ~5 mag fainter than the optical primary. We discuss possible resolutions to the conflicting results concerning this object, and conclude that if the star is bound to the T Tau system, it has dimmed by at least 1-3 mag at R, I, H, and K. In addition, we note that the star is unlikely to be a normal M dwarf as reported, and we discuss the possibility that the star could be a Herbig-Haro object.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Ghez, A. M.0000-0003-3230-5055
Kulkarni, S. R.0000-0001-5390-8563
Additional Information:© 1992 American Astronomical Society. We thank the staff at Palomar observatory for their invaluable help with the observations; particularly Juan Carrasco, the 200 in. telescope operator. The optical camera was graciously provided by the W. M. Keck foundation, and we thank Fernando Lopez and Richard Borrup for their assistance and advice in modifying it. We are indebted to Tom Prince and the Caltech Concurrent Supercomputing Facility for providing time on the Caltech NCUBE supercomputer and the National Science Foundation for providing support for the construction and maintenance of the infrared array camera. We thank Dr. Janet Mattei of the AAVSO for kindly providing visual photometry. S. Kulkarni’s research is supported by a Presidential Young Investigator award from the National Science Foundation, and the Packard foundation. C. Haniff is supported by a SERC/NATO research fellowship.
Group:UNSPECIFIED, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
Funding AgencyGrant Number
W. M. Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC)UNSPECIFIED
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170228-140005295
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:74599
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:28 Feb 2017 22:19
Last Modified:11 Nov 2021 05:28

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