Astrophysics Group, Keele University,
2 Institute for Astronomy, ETH Zurich, Wolfgang-Pauli-Strasse 27, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland
3 Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UK
4 Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Sezione Astrofisica, Università di Catania, via S. Sofia 78, 95123 Catania, Italy
5 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo, Piazza del Parlamento 1, 90134 Palermo, Italy
6 INAF – Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Florence, Italy
7 INAF – Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania, via S. Sofia 78, 95123 Catania, Italy
8 Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía-CSIC, Apdo. 3004, 18080 Granada, Spain
9 Lund Observatory, Department of Astronomy and Theoretical Physics, Box 43, 221 00 Lund, Sweden
10 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, via Ranzani 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy
11 Laboratoire Lagrange (UMR7293), Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis, CNRS, Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, BP 4229, 06304 Nice Cedex 4, France
Accepted: 20 January 2014
Context. A key science goal of the Gaia-ESO survey (GES) at the VLT is to use the kinematics of low-mass stars in young clusters and star forming regions to probe their dynamical histories and how they populate the field as they become unbound. The clustering of low-mass stars around the massive Wolf-Rayet binary system γ2 Velorum was one of the first GES targets.
Aims. We empirically determine the radial velocity precision of GES data, construct a kinematically unbiased sample of cluster members and characterise their dynamical state.
Methods. Targets were selected from colour–magnitude diagrams and intermediate resolution spectroscopy was used to derive radial velocities and assess membership from the strength of the Li i 6708 Å line. The radial velocity distribution was analysed using a maximum likelihood technique that accounts for unresolved binaries.
Results. The GES radial velocity precision is about 0.25 km s-1 and sufficient to resolve velocity structure in the low-mass population around γ2 Vel. The structure is well fitted by two kinematic components with roughly equal numbers of stars; the first has an intrinsic dispersion of 0.34 ± 0.16 km s-1, consistent with virial equilibrium. The second has a broader dispersion of 1.60 ± 0.37 km s-1 and is offset from the first by ≃2 km s-1. The first population is older by 1–2 Myr based on a greater level of Li depletion seen among its M-type stars and is probably more centrally concentrated around γ2 Vel.
Conclusions. We consider several formation scenarios, concluding that the two kinematic components are a bound remnant of the original, denser cluster that formed γ2 Vel, and a dispersed population from the wider Vela OB2 association, of which γ2 Vel is the most massive member. The apparent youth of γ2 Vel compared to the older (≥10 Myr) low-mass population surrounding it suggests a scenario in which the massive binary formed in a clustered environment after the formation of the bulk of the low-mass stars.
Key words: stars: pre-main sequence / stars: kinematics and dynamics / open clusters and associations: individual: gamma2 Velorum / stars: formation
Based on observations collected with the FLAMES spectrograph at VLT/UT2 telescope (Paranal Observatory, ESO, Chile), for the Gaia- ESO Large Public Survey (188.B-3002).
Full Table 2 is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (18.104.22.168) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/563/A94
© ESO, 2014