Testing the universality of star formation - II. Comparing separation distributions of nearby star-forming regions and the field

Robert R. King, Simon P. Goodwin, Richard J. Parker, Jennifer Patience

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

We have measured the multiplicity fractions and separation distributions of seven young star-forming regions using a uniform sample of young binaries. Both the multiplicity fractions and separation distributions are similar in the different regions. A tentative decline in the multiplicity fraction with increasing stellar density is apparent, even for binary systems with separations too close (19-100au) to have been dynamically processed. The separation distributions in the different regions are statistically indistinguishable over most separation ranges, and the regions with higher densities do not exhibit a lower proportion of wide (300-620au) relative to close (62-300au) binaries as might be expected from the preferential destruction of wider pairs. Only the closest (19-100au) separation range, which would be unaffected by dynamical processing, shows a possible difference in separation distributions between different regions. The combined set of young binaries, however, shows a distinct difference when compared to field binaries, with a significant excess of close (19-100au) systems among the younger binaries. Based on both the similarities and differences between individual regions, and between all seven young regions and the field, especially over separation ranges too close to be modified by dynamical processing, we conclude that multiple star formation is not universal and, by extension, the star formation process is not universal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2636-2646
Number of pages11
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume427
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 11 2012

Keywords

  • Binaries: general
  • Open clusters and associations: general
  • Stars: formation
  • Stars: kinematics and dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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