Protoplanetary Disk Mass Distribution in Young Binaries

Accepted by The Astrophysical Journal; to appear Feb. 2003

Eric L. N. Jensen
Swarthmore College
Department of Physics and Astronomy
500 College Ave.
Swarthmore, PA 19081 USA

Rachel L. Akeson
Interferometry Science Center
MS 100-22,
1201 E. California Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91125 USA


We present millimeter-wave continuum images of four wide (separations 210--800 AU) young stellar binary systems in the Taurus-Auriga star-forming region. For all four sources, the resolution of our observations is sufficient to determine the mm emission from each of the components. In all four systems, the primary star's disk has stronger millimeter emission than the secondary and in three of the four, the secondary is undetected; this is consistent with predictions of recent models of binary formation by fragmentation. The primaries' circumstellar disk masses inferred from these observations are comparable to those found for young single stars, confirming that the presence of a wide binary companion does not prevent the formation of a protoplanetary disk. Some of the secondaries show signatures of accretion (H emission and K - L excesses), yet their mm fluxes suggest that very little disk mass is present.

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Last modified: Wed Nov 6 15:17:10 2002