The radii of the nearby K5V and K7V stars 61 Cygni A & B. CHARA/FLUOR interferometry and CESAM2k modeling
Context: The main sequence binary star 61 Cyg (K5V+K7V) is our nearest stellar neighbour in the northern hemisphere. This proximity makes it a particularly well suited system for very high accuracy interferometric radius measurements.
Aims: Our goal is to constrain the poorly known evolutionary status and age of this bright binary star.
Methods: We obtained high accuracy interferometric observations in the infrared K' band, using the CHARA/FLUOR instrument. We then computed evolutionary models of 61 Cyg A & B with the CESAM2k code. As model constraints, we used a combination of observational parameters from classical observation methods (photometry, spectroscopy) as well as our new interferometric radii.
Results: The measured limb darkened disk angular diameters are θ_LD(A) = 1.775 ± 0.013 mas and θ_LD(B) = 1.581 ± 0.022 mas, respectively for 61 Cyg A and B. Considering the high accuracy parallaxes available, these values translate into photospheric radii of R(A) = 0.665 ± 0.005 R⊙ and R(B) = 0.595 ± 0.008 R⊙. The new radii constrain efficiently the physical parameters adopted for the modeling of both stars, allowing us to predict asteroseismic frequencies based on our best-fit models.
Conclusions: The CESAM2k evolutionary models indicate an age around 6 Gyr and are compatible with small values of the mixing length parameter. The measurement of asteroseismic oscillation frequencies in 61 Cyg A & B would be of great value to improve the modeling of this important fiducial stellar system, in particular to better constrain the masses.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- September 2008
- stars: individual: 61 Cyg;
- stars: evolution;
- stars: fundamental parameters;
- techniques: interferometric;
- Accepted for publication in A&