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Spatial differences between stars and brown dwarfs: a dynamical origin?

Abstract : We use N-body simulations to compare the evolution of spatial distributions of stars and brown dwarfs in young star-forming regions. We use three different diagnostics: the ratio of stars to brown dwarfs as a function of distance from the region's centre, {R}_SSR, the local surface density of stars compared to brown dwarfs, ΣLDR, and we compare the global spatial distributions using the ΛMSR method. From a suite of 20 initially statistically identical simulations, 6/20 attain {R}_SSR ≪ 1 and ΣLDR ≪ 1 and ΛMSR ≪ 1, indicating that dynamical interactions could be responsible for observed differences in the spatial distributions of stars and brown dwarfs in star-forming regions. However, many simulations also display apparently contradictory results - for example, in some cases the brown dwarfs have much lower local densities than stars (ΣLDR ≪ 1), but their global spatial distributions are indistinguishable (ΛMSR = 1) and the relative proportion of stars and brown dwarfs remains constant across the region ({R}_SSR = 1). Our results suggest that extreme caution should be exercised when interpreting any observed difference in the spatial distribution of stars and brown dwarfs, and that a much larger observational sample of regions/clusters (with complete mass functions) is necessary to investigate whether or not brown dwarfs form through similar mechanisms to stars.
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 24, 2022 - 4:20:53 PM
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Richard J. Parker, Morten Andersen. Spatial differences between stars and brown dwarfs: a dynamical origin?. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Oxford University Press (OUP): Policy P - Oxford Open Option A, 2014, 441, pp.784-789. ⟨10.1093/mnras/stu615⟩. ⟨insu-03618569⟩

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