The Messenger GRAVITY Science
Multiple Star Systems in the Orion Nebula
No. 178 (December 2019), 36–38
GRAVITY observations reveal that most massive stars in the Orion Trapezium cluster live in multiple systems. Our deep, milliarcsecond-resolution interferometry fills the gap at 1–100 astronomical units (au), which is not accessible to traditional imaging and spectroscopy, but is crucial to uncovering the mystery of high-mass star formation.The new observations find a significantly higher companion fraction than earlier studies of mostly OB associations. The observed distribution of mass ratios declines steeply with mass and follows a Salpeter power-law initial mass function. The observations therefore exclude stellar mergers as the dominant formation mechanism for massive stars in Orion.
Cite this article:
GRAVITY Collaboration; Multiple Star Systems in the Orion Nebula. The Messenger 178 (December 2019): 36–38. https://doi.org/10.18727/0722-6691/5172