Multiplicity of massive stars
Thomas Preibisch, Gerd Weigelt, & Hans Zinnecker
invited review talk at the IAU Symposium 200:
"The Formation Of Binary Stars",
eds. H. Zinnecker & B. Mathieu, ASP Conference Series: IAU Symposium 200,
page 69 (2000)
We discuss the observed multiplicity of massive stars and
implications on theories of massive star formation.
After a short summary of the literature on massive star multiplicity,
we focus on the O- and B-type stars in the Orion Nebula Cluster,
which constitute a homogenous sample of very young massive stars.
13 of these stars have recently been the targets of a bispectrum
speckle interferometry survey for companions.
Considering the visual and also the known
spectroscopic companions of these stars,
the total number of companions is at least 14.
Extrapolation with correction for the unresolved systems
suggests that there are at least 1.5 and perhaps as much as 4
companions per primary star on
average. This number is clearly higher than the mean number of ~0.5
companions per primary star
found for the low-mass stars in the general field population and also
in the Orion Nebula cluster.
This suggests that a different mechanism is at
work in the formation of high-mass multiple systems in the dense Orion Nebula
cluster than for low-mass stars.
To get a preprint of this paper click here
Back to the publication list
or to my homepage .