AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 5 Eclipsing Binaries and Friends
Poster, Monday, May 31, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Ballroom

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[5.04] Low Mass Eclipsing Binary Stars and the Stellar Mass-Luminosity-Radius Relation

L. Hebb, R. F. G. Wyse (Johns Hopkins University), G. Gilmore (Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge University)

We have undertaken a photometric monitoring survey of six open clusters in the Galaxy designed to detect low-mass eclipsing binary star systems through variations in their relative light curves. The aim is to provide an improved calibration of the mass-luminosity relation for late K and M-dwarf type stars, to test stellar structure and evolution models, and to determine the contribution of low-mass stars to the global mass census in the Galaxy. In this poster, we present our survey, describing the data and outlining the analysis techniques, and present preliminary detections of candidate M-dwarf eclipsing binary stars within the clusters.

Our survey targets six nearby open clusters with a range of ages from ~0.2 to 4 Gyr and metallicities from approximately solar to -0.2 dex. We monitor a field-of-view of > 1 square degree per target cluster (well beyond the cluster core) with an average sampling rate of at least 1 per hour over timescales of hours, days and months. Further, our survey is designed to detect eclipse events with an amplitude as low as 0.05 magnitudes in an average cluster star of 0.3 solar masses. We have thus far detected two candidate M-dwarf eclipsing stars within the clusters.

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