Site Map
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter YouTube channel
Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto

Finding proto-spectroscopic binaries
Precise multi-epoch radial velocities of 7 protostars in ρ Ophiuchus

P. Viana Almeida, C. Melo, N. C. Santos, P. Figueira, M. Sterzik, J. F. Gameiro

The formation of spectroscopic binaries (SB) may be a natural byproduct of star formation. The early dynamical evolution of multiple stellar systems after the initial fragmentation of molecular clouds leaves characteristic imprints on the properties of young, multiple stars. The discovery and the characterization of the youngest SB will allow us to infer the mechanisms and timescales involved in their formation. Our work aims to find spectroscopic companions around young stellar objects (YSO). We present a near-IR high-resolution (R ~ 60000) multi-epoch radial velocity survey of 7 YSO in the star forming region (SFR) ρ Ophiuchus. The radial velocities of each source were derived using a two-dimensional cross-correlation function, using the zero-point established by the Earth’s atmosphere as reference. More than 14 spectral lines in the CO Δν = (0-2) bandhead window were used in the cross-correlation against LTE atmospheric models to compute the final results. We found that the spectra of the protostars in our sample agree well with the predicted stellar photospheric profiles, indicating that the radial velocities derived are indeed of stellar nature. Three of the targets analyzed exhibit large radial velocity variations during the three observation epochs. These objects - pending further confirmation and orbital characteristics - may become the first evidence for proto-spectroscopic binaries, and will provide important constraints on their formation. Our preliminary binary fraction (BF) of ~71% (when merging our results with those of previous studies) is in line with the notion that multiplicity is very high at young ages and therefore a byproduct of star formation.

binaries: close – stars: formation – stars: pre-main sequence – binaries: spectroscopic – stars: protostars

Based on observations collected with the CRIRES spectrograph at the VLT/UT1 8.2-m Antu Telescope (ESO run ID. 081.C-0395(A)) at the Paranal Observatory, Chile.
Table 1 is available in electronic form at

Astronomy and Astrophysics
Volume 539, Page A62_1
March 2012

>> PDF>> ADS>> DOI

Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences

Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (IA) is a new but long anticipated research infrastructure with a national dimension. It embodies a bold but feasible vision for the development of Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Sciences in Portugal, taking full advantage and fully realizing the potential created by the national membership of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). IA resulted from the merging the two most prominent research units in the field in Portugal: the Centre for Astrophysics of the University of Porto (CAUP) and the Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics of the University of Lisbon (CAAUL). It currently hosts more than two-thirds of all active researchers working in Space Sciences in Portugal, and is responsible for an even greater fraction of the national productivity in international ISI journals in the area of Space Sciences. This is the scientific area with the highest relative impact factor (1.65 times above the international average) and the field with the highest average number of citations per article for Portugal.

Proceed on CAUP's website|Go to IA website