Friday, March 18, 2016

Alpha Centauri Revisited

Parallax and masses of alpha Centauri revisited


Pourbaix et al


Context. Despite the thorough work of van Leeuwen (2007), the parallax of alpha Centauri is still far from being carved in stone. Any derivation of the individual masses is therefore uncertain, if not questionable. And yet, that does not prevent this system from being used for calibration purpose in several studies. Aims. Obtaining more accurate model-free parallax and individual masses of this system. Methods. With HARPS, the radial velocities are not only precise but also accurate. Ten years of HARPS data are enough to derive the complement of the visual orbit for a full 3D orbit of alpha Cen. Results. We locate alpha Cen (743 mas) right where Hipparcos (ESA 1997) had put it, i.e. slightly further away than derived by Soderhjelm (1999). The components are thus a bit more massive than previously thought (1.13 and 0.97 Msun for A and B respectively). These values are now in excellent agreement with the latest asteroseismologic results.

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