A disk-based dynamical constraint on the mass of the young binary DQ Tau

I. Czekala*, S. M. Andrews, G. Torres, E. L. N. Jensen, K. G. Stassun, D. J. Wilner, D. W. Latham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present new Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) observations of CO J = 2-1 line emission from the DQ Tau circumbinary disk. These data are used to tomographically reconstruct the Keplerian disk velocity field in a forward-modeling inference framework, and thereby provide a dynamical constraint on the mass of the DQ Tau binary of M = 1.27-0.27+0.46 M⊙. Those results are compared with an updated and improved orbital solution for this double-lined system based on long-term monitoring of its stellar radial velocities. Both of these independent dynamical constraints on the binary mass are in excellent agreement: taken together, they demonstrate that the DQ Tau system mass is 1.21 ± 0.26 M⊙ and that the disk and binary orbital planes are aligned within 3° (at 3σ confidence). The predictions of various theoretical models for pre-main-sequence stellar evolution are also consistent with these masses, though more detailed comparisons are difficult due to lingering uncertainties regarding the photospheric properties of the individual components. DQ Tau is the third, nearly equal-mass, double-lined spectroscopic binary with a circumbinary disk that has been dynamically “weighed” with these two independent techniques: all show consistent results, validating the overall accuracy of the disk-based approach and demonstrating that it can be robustly applied to large samples of young, single stars as ALMA ramps up to operations at full capacity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number156
Number of pages9
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2016


  • Protoplanetary disks
  • Stars: fundamental parameters
  • Stars: individual: DQ Tau
  • Stars: pre-main sequence


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