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Astron. Astrophys. 318, 472-484 (1997)

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7. Summary and conclusion

We have studied 26 of the more active Herbig Ae/Be stars for duplicity by means of high angular resolution imaging. Combining our results with those available in the literature, we find the following:

- There are 11 binaries in the sample, five of which have subarcsecond separations, and nine of which have projected separations [FORMULA] 1000 AU. This degree of duplicity appears to be in excess by roughly a factor of two over the duplicity observed for main sequence A and B stars.

- In the near-infrared, most of the companions are fainter by 2 mag or more than the brighter components. In total, this is similar to what would be expected if the binaries were formed by random association from a Miller-Scalo initial mass function. But in detail there is a trend that in the more luminous systems the companions are also more luminous.

- In most cases the optically dominating star is also brighter in the near-infrared and probably carries most of the far-infrared flux. In the cases of V380 Ori, HK Ori and LkH [FORMULA] 208 this has still to be decided; in the first two of these cases optical, high spatial resolution measurements are needed for this purpose.

In broad outline then the duplicity of Herbig Ae/Be stars in our sample is similar to that of the better studied sample of T Tauri stars.

However, to put such conclusions on a firm basis, the multiplicity of both young and main-sequence Ae/Be stars still needs better definition.

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: July 8, 1998