A VLT/NACO survey for triple and quadruple systems among visual pre-main sequence binaries
Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany e-mail: [scorreia;hzinnecker]@aip.de
2 Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
3 European Southern Observatory, Casilla 19001, Santiago 19, Chile e-mail: email@example.com
Accepted: 28 August 2006
Aims.This paper describes a systematic search for high-order multiplicity among wide visual Pre-Main Sequence (PMS) binaries.
Methods.We conducted an Adaptive Optics survey of a sample of 58 PMS wide binaries from various star-forming regions, which include 52 T Tauri systems with mostly K- and M-type primaries, with the NIR instrument NACO at the VLT.
Results.Of these 52 systems, 7 are found to be triple (2 new) and 7 quadruple (1 new). The new close companions are most likely physically bound based on their probability of chance projection and, for some of them, on their position on a color–color diagram. The corresponding degree of multiplicity among wide binaries (number of triples and quadruples divided by the number of systems) is 26.9 ± 7.2% in the projected separation range ~007–12″, with the largest contribution from the Taurus-Auriga cloud. We also found that this degree of multiplicity is twice in Taurus compared to Ophiuchus and Chamaeleon for which the same number of sources are present in our sample. Considering a restricted sample composed of systems at distance 140–190 pc, the degree of multiplicity is 26.8 ± 8.1%, in the separation range 10/14 AU–1700/2300 AU (30 binaries, 5 triples, 6 quadruples). The observed frequency agrees with results from previous multiplicity surveys within the uncertainties, although a significant overabundance of quadruple systems compared to triple systems is apparent. Tentatively including the spectroscopic pairs in our restricted sample and comparing the multiplicity fractions to those measured for solar-type main-sequence stars in the solar neighborhood leads to the conclusion that both the ratio of triples to binaries and the ratio of quadruples to triples seems to be in excess among young stars. Most of the current numerical simulations of multiple star formation, and especially smoothed particles hydrodynamics simulations, over-predict the fraction of high-order multiplicity when compared to our results. The circumstellar properties around the individual components of our high-order multiple systems tend to favor mixed systems (i.e. systems including components of wTTS and cTTS type), which is in general agreement with previous studies of disks in binaries, with the exception of Taurus, where we find a preponderance of similar type of components among the multiples studied.
Key words: stars: pre-main sequence / stars: binaries: close / techniques: high angular resolution
© ESO, 2006