Stellar Multiplicity and the IMF: Most Stars Are Single

Charles J. Lada
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

In this short communication I compare recent findings suggesting a low binary star fraction for late type stars with knowledge concerning the forms of the stellar initial and present day mass functions for masses down to the hydrogen burning limit. This comparison indicates that most stellar systems formed in the galaxy are likely single and not binary as has been often asserted. Indeed, in the current epoch two-thirds of all main sequence stellar systems in the Galactic disk are composed of single stars. Some implications of this realization for understanding the star and planet formation process are briefly mentioned.

in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 640, L63-L66.


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