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Pre-Main Sequence Binaries: The ESO Imaging Survey

  • H. Zinnecker (a1), W. Brandner (a1) and B. Reipurth (a2)

Abstract

We have observed a complete sample of southern Hα emission line pre-main sequence (PMS) stars associated with the nearby dark clouds Chamaeleon and Ophiuchus in an effort to detect binary companions. We have used the high resolution CCD camera SUSI (0.13″ /pixel) at the ESO 3.5m New Technology Telescope (NTT). The observations were carried out in the Gunn z filter (0.95μ). As a result, we have discovered 28 companions out of 160 objects surveyed in the range of angular separation 0″.5 – 10″. We present histograms of semi-major axes and of brightness ratios of these PMS binaries. Taking small incompleteness corrections into account, the frequency of PMS binaries with semi-major axes in the range 100-1500 AU is 20%, while it is only 15% in same range for solar-type Main Sequence (MS) stars. Extrapolation yields a total PMS binary frequency of 70%. Evolutionary and environmental implications are briefly discussed.

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References

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