Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg, Sternwarte 5, 07778 Tautenburg, Germany e-mail: email@example.com
2 Dipartimento di Fisica “E.R. Caianiello”, Università di Salerno, via S. Allende, 84081 Baronissi (Salerno), Italy
3 Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
4 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte via Moiariello 16, 80131 Napoli, Italy
Accepted: 6 February 2007
Context.A severe problem for research in star-formation is that the masses of young stars are almost always estimated from evolutionary tracks alone. Since the tracks published by different groups differ, it is often only possible to give a rough estimate of the masses of young stars. It is thus crucial to test and calibrate the tracks. Up to now, only a few tests of the tracks could be carried out. However, it is now possible with the VLTI to set constrains on the tracks by determining the masses of many young binary stars precisely.
Aims.In order to use the VLTI efficiently, a first step is to find suitable targets, which is the purpose of this work. Given the distance of nearby star-forming regions, suitable VLTI targets are binaries with orbital periods between at least 50 days and a few years. Although a number of surveys for detecting spectroscopic binaries have been carried out, most of the binaries found so far have periods that are too short.
Methods.We thus surveyed the Chamaeleon, Corona Australis, Lupus, Sco-Cen, and ρ Ophiuci star-forming regions in order to search for spectroscopic binaries with periods longer than 50 days, which are suitable for the VLTI observations.
Results.As a result of the 8 year campaign, we discovered 8 binaries with orbital periods longer than 50 days. Amongst the newly discovered long-period binaries is CS Cha, which is one of the few classical T Tauri stars with a circumbinary disk. The survey is limited to objects with masses higher than 0.1 to 0.2 for periods between 1 and 8 years.
Conclusions.We find that the frequency of binaries with orbital periods ≤3000 days is of 20±5%. The frequency of long and short period pre-main sequence spectroscopic binaries is about the same as for stars in the solar neighbourhood. In total 14 young binaries are now known that are suitable for mass determination with the VLTI.
Key words: binaries: spectroscopic / stars: formation / techniques: interferometric / stars: pre-main sequence / techniques: radial velocities
based on observations obtained at the European Southern Observatory at La Silla, Chile in program 62.I-0418(A); 63.I-0096(A); 64.I-0294(A); 65.I-0012(A); 67.C-0155(A); 68.C-0292(A); 68.C-0561(A); 69.C-0207(A); 70.C-0163(A); 073.C-0355(A); 074.A-9018(A); 075.C-0399(A-F).
© ESO, 2007