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Astron. Astrophys. 338, 452-454 (1998)

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Research Note

On the luminosity ratio of pre-main sequence binaries

O. Malkov 1, A. Piskunov 1 and H. Zinnecker 2

1 Institute of Astronomy of the Russian Acad. Sci., 48 Pyatnitskaya St., 109017 Moscow, Russia
(malkov@inasan.rssi.ru, piskunov@inasan.rssi.ru)
2 Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, D-14482 Potsdam, Germany (hzinnecker@aip.de)

Received 30 March 1998 / Accepted 16 April 1998


Assuming random pairing of single stars from the same fundamental IMF as a good scenario for pre-main sequence binary formation, we show how to derive the mass ratio distribution and the fundamental IMF from the observational luminosity ratio distribution, taking into account pre-main sequence evolution. We also determine how the detectability of a brown dwarf as a companion relates to its own mass, the mass of the primary, and the age of the system. Our calculations suggest that for a particular mass of a brown dwarf companion, there is a "best age" for detection, namely when the brown dwarf is in its deuterium burning phase. Clusters with ages [FORMULA] to [FORMULA] years would be most favorable to catch brown dwarfs at their "best age".

Key words: binaries: visual – stars: pre-main-sequence – stars: low-mass, brown dwarfs

Send offprint requests to: H. Zinnecker

This article contains no SIMBAD objects.


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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: September 14, 1998