Binary systems and stellar mergers in massive star formation

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Abstract

We present a model for the formation of high-mass close binary systems in the context of forming massive stars through gas accretion in the centres of stellar clusters. A low-mass wide binary evolves under mass accretion towards a high-mass close binary, attaining system masses of the order of 30-50 M-circle dot at separations of the order of 1 au. The resulting high frequency of binary systems with two massive components is in agreement with observations. These systems are typically highly eccentric and may evolve to have periastron separations less than their stellar radii. Mergers of these binary systems are therefore likely and can lead to the formation of the most massive stars, circumventing the problem of radiation pressure stopping the accretion. The stellar density required to induce binary mergers is approximate to 10(6) stars pc(-3), or approximate to 0.01 that required for direct stellar collisions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)915
Number of pages915
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume362
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2005

Keywords

  • binaries : general
  • stars : formation
  • stars : luminosity function, mass function
  • open clusters and associations : general
  • ORION NEBULA CLUSTER
  • DYNAMICAL EVOLUTION
  • PROTOBINARY SYSTEMS
  • TURBULENT CORES
  • O-STARS
  • ACCRETION
  • CLOUDS
  • FRAGMENTATION

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