Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 378, 898-906 (2001/11-2)
On the pre-main sequence circularization period.
MELO C.H.F., COVINO E., ALCALA J.M. and TORRES G.
Abstract (from CDS):
In this paper we present an updated compilation of the currently known pre-main sequence (PMS) spectroscopic binaries (SB) for which orbital elements have been determined. In particular we report our results for and discuss the case of the bona-fide PMS system RX J1603.9-3938, which has a circular orbit and a period of 7.56 days. This is the longest orbital period for a circular orbit found among the bona-fide PMS spectroscopic binaries so far, and we suggest that this system may be thus considered to now set the PMS circularization period. The longer period is compatible with the circularization periods already known for older binary populations such as the Hyades and Praesepe. When considered in the context of the circularization periods for other binary populations of different ages, the new PMS circularization period strongly supports the suggestion of Mathieu et al. (1992, in Binaries as tracers of stellar formation, ed. Duquennoy, & Mayor (Cambridge University Press), 278) that a hybrid scenario (tidal circularization occurring on both PMS phase and on MS phase) could explain the observed circularization periods as a function of age. The apparently circular orbit observed in another PMS system, RX J1301.0-7654a, with an orbital period of nearly 13 days, may perhaps change this picture when the orbit is improved and the system is better understood.