VIII. Multiplicity properties of the O-type star population
Astronomical Institute Anton Pannekoek, Amsterdam University,
Science Park 904,
1098 XH, Amsterdam, The
2 Utrecht University, Princetonplein 5, 3584CC Utrecht, The Netherlands
3 Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
4 Johns Hopkins University, 11100 Johns Hopkins Rd Laurel, Baltimore, MD, USA
5 Astrophysics Research Centre, School of Mathematics and Physics, Queens University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK
6 UK Astronomy Technology Centre, Royal Observatory Edinburgh, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh, EH9 3HJ, UK
7 Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA), Institute for Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Royal Observatory Edinburgh, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh, EH9 3HJ, UK
8 Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía-CSIC, Glorieta de la Astronomía s/n, 18008 Granada, Spain
9 Department of Physics and Astronomy, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, UK
10 Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, Hounsfield Road, University of Sheffield, S3 7RH, UK
11 Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, C/ Vía Láctea s/n, 38200 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
12 Departamento de Astrofísica, Universidad de La Laguna, Avda. Astrofísico Francisco Sánchez s/n, 38071La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
13 Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0HA, UK
14 Argelander-Institut für Astronomie, Universität Bonn, Auf dem Hügel 71, 53121 Bonn, Germany
15 ESA/STScI, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
16 Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG, Northern Ireland, UK
Accepted: 17 September 2012
Context. The Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud is our closest view of a starburst region and is the ideal environment to investigate important questions regarding the formation, evolution and final fate of the most massive stars.
Aims. We analyze the multiplicity properties of the massive O-type star population observed through multi-epoch spectroscopy in the framework of the VLT-FLAMES Tarantula Survey. With 360 O-type stars, this is the largest homogeneous sample of massive stars analyzed to date.
Methods. We use multi-epoch spectroscopy and variability analysis to identify spectroscopic binaries. We also use a Monte-Carlo method to correct for observational biases. By modeling simultaneously the observed binary fraction, the distributions of the amplitudes of the radial velocity variations and the distribution of the time scales of these variations, we constrain the intrinsic current binary fraction and period and mass-ratio distributions.
Results. We observe a spectroscopic binary fraction of 0.35 ± 0.03, which corresponds to the fraction of objects displaying statistically significant radial velocity variations with an amplitude of at least 20 km s-1. We compute the intrinsic binary fraction to be 0.51 ± 0.04. We adopt power-laws to describe the intrinsic period and mass-ratio distributions: f(log 10P/d) ~ (log 10P/d)π (with log 10P/d in the range 0.15−3.5) and f(q) ~ qκ with 0.1 ≤ q = M2/M1 ≤ 1.0. The power-law indexes that best reproduce the observed quantities are π = −0.45 ± 0.30 and κ = −1.0 ± 0.4. The period distribution that we obtain thus favours shorter period systems compared to an Öpik law (π = 0). The mass ratio distribution is slightly skewed towards low mass ratio systems but remains incompatible with a random sampling of a classical mass function (κ = −2.35). The binary fraction seems mostly uniform across the field of view and independent of the spectral types and luminosity classes. The binary fraction in the outer region of the field of view (r > 7.8′, i.e. ≈117 pc) and among the O9.7 I/II objects are however significantly lower than expected from statistical fluctuations. The observed and intrinsic binary fractions are also lower for the faintest objects in our sample (Ks > 15.5 mag), which results from observational effects and the fact that our O star sample is not magnitude-limited but is defined by a spectral-type cutoff. We also conclude that magnitude-limited investigations are biased towards larger binary fractions.
Conclusions. Using the multiplicity properties of the O stars in the Tarantula region and simple evolutionary considerations, we estimate that over 50% of the current O star population will exchange mass with its companion within a binary system. This shows that binary interaction is greatly affecting the evolution and fate of massive stars, and must be taken into account to correctly interpret unresolved populations of massive stars.
Key words: stars: early-type / stars: massive / binaries: spectroscopic / open clusters and associations: individual: 30 Dor / binaries: close / Magellanic Clouds
Full Tables 1–3 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr(220.127.116.11) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/550/A107
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© ESO, 2013