Journal Article

On the mass segregation of stars and brown dwarfs in Taurus

Richard J. Parker, Jerome Bouvier, Simon P. Goodwin, Estelle Moraux, Richard J. Allison, Sylvain Guieu and Manuel Güdel

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 412, issue 4, pages 2489-2497
Published in print April 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.18070.x
On the mass segregation of stars and brown dwarfs in Taurus

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We use the new minimum spanning tree (MST) method to look for mass segregation in the Taurus association. The method computes the ratio of MST lengths of any chosen subset of objects, including the most massive stars and brown dwarfs, to the MST lengths of random sets of stars and brown dwarfs in the cluster. This mass segregation ratio (ΛMSR) enables a quantitative measure of the spatial distribution of high- and low-mass stars, and brown dwarfs to be made in Taurus.

We find that the most massive stars in Taurus are inversely mass segregated with ΛMSR= 0.70 ± 0.10 (ΛMSR= 1 corresponds to no mass segregation), which differs from the strong mass segregation signatures found in more dense and massive clusters such as Orion. The brown dwarfs in Taurus are not mass segregated, although we find evidence that some low-mass stars are, with an ΛMSR= 1.25 ± 0.15. Finally, we compare our results to previous measures of the spatial distribution of stars and brown dwarfs in Taurus, and briefly discuss their implications.

Keywords: methods: data analysis; brown dwarfs; stars: low-mass; galaxies: star clusters: individual: Taurus

Journal Article.  7233 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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