EDP Sciences
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Volume 376, Number 3, September IV 2001
Page(s) 982 - 996
Section Formation, structure and evolution of stars
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20011034

A&A 376, 982-996 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20011034

Mass ratios of the components in T Tauri binary systems and implications for multiple star formation

J. Woitas1, 2, Ch. Leinert2 and R. Köhler3, 2

1  Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg, Sternwarte 5, 07778 Tautenburg, Germany
2  Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
3  Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0424, USA

(Received 25 February 2000 / Accepted 12 July 2001)

Using near-infrared speckle interferometry we have obtained resolved JHK-photometry for the components of 58 young binary systems. From these measurements, combined with other data taken from literature, we derive masses and particularly mass ratios of the components. We use the J-magnitude as an indicator for the stellar luminosity and assign the optical spectral type of the system to the primary. On the assumption that the components within a binary are coeval we can then also place the secondaries into the HRD and derive masses and mass ratios for both components by comparison with different sets of current theoretical pre-main sequence evolutionary tracks. The resulting distribution of mass ratios is comparatively flat for $M_2/M_1\ge 0.2$, but depends on assumed evolutionary tracks. The mass ratio is neither correlated with the primary's mass or the components' separation. These findings are in line with the assumption that for most multiple systems in T associations the components' masses are principally determined by fragmentation during formation and not by the following accretion processes. Only very few unusually red objects were newly found among the detected companions.This finding shows that the observed overabundance of binaries in the Taurus-Auriga association compared to nearby main sequence stars should be real and not the outcome of observational biases related to infrared observing.

Key words: binaries: general -- stars: pre-main sequence -- stars: formation -- stars: fundamental parameters -- techniques: interferometric -- infrared: stars

Offprint request: J. Woitas, woitas@tls-tautenburg.de

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