Journal Article

Collisions in young triple systems

Krisada Rawiraswattana, Oliver Lomax and Simon P. Goodwin

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 419, issue 3, pages 2025-2030
Published in print January 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online January 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19864.x
Collisions in young triple systems

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We perform N-body simulations of young triple systems consisting of two low-mass companions orbiting around a significantly more massive primary. We find that, when the orbits of the companions are coplanar and not too widely separated, the chance of a collision between the two companions can be as high as 20 per cent. Collisions between one of the companions (always the less massive) and the primary can also occur in systems with unequal-mass companions. The chance of collisions is a few per cent in systems with more realistic initial conditions, such as with slightly non-coplanar orbits and unequal-mass companions. If the companions start widely separated then collision are very rare except in some cases when the total mass of the companions is large. We suggest that collisions between members of young multiple systems may explain some unusual young multiple systems such as apparently non-coeval companions.

Keywords: methods: numerical; binaries: general; stars: formation

Journal Article.  4187 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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