THOR 42: A touchstone ∼24 Myr-old eclipsing binary spanning the fully convective boundary

Simon J. Murphy*, Warrick A. Lawson, Christopher A. Onken, David Yong, Gary S. Da Costa, George Zhou, Eric E. Mamajek, Cameron P.M. Bell, Michael S. Bessell, Adina D. Feinstein

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    We present the characterization of CRTS J055255.7-004426 (=THOR 42), a young eclipsing binary comprising two pre-main sequence M dwarfs (combined spectral type M3.5). This nearby (103 pc), short-period (0.859 d) system was recently proposed as a member of the ∼24 Myr-old 32 Orionis Moving Group. Using ground-and space-based photometry in combination with medium-and high-resolution spectroscopy, we model the light and radial velocity curves to derive precise system parameters. The resulting component masses and radii are 0.497 ± 0.005 and 0.205 ± 0.002 M⊙, and 0.659 ± 0.003 and 0.424 ± 0.002 R⊙, respectively. With mass and radius uncertainties of ∼1 per cent and ∼0.5 per cent, respectively, THOR 42 is one of the most precisely characterized pre-main sequence eclipsing binaries known. Its systemic velocity, parallax, proper motion, colour-magnitude diagram placement, and enlarged radii are all consistent with membership in the 32 Ori Group. The system provides a unique opportunity to test pre-main sequence evolutionary models at an age and mass range not well constrained by observation. From the radius and mass measurements we derive ages of 22-26 Myr using standard (non-magnetic) models, in excellent agreement with the age of the group. However, none of the models can simultaneously reproduce the observed mass, radius, temperature, and luminosity of the coeval components. In particular, their H-R diagram ages are 2-4 times younger and we infer masses ∼50 per cent smaller than the dynamical values.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4902-4924
    Number of pages23
    JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020


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