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Protoplanetary Disk Mass Distribution in Young Binaries

Abstract

We present millimeter-wave continuum images of four wide (separations 210-800 AU) young stellar binary systems in the Taurus-Auriga star-forming region. For all four sources, the resolution of our observations is sufficient to determine the mm emission from each of the components. In all four systems, the primary star's disk has stronger millimeter emission than the secondary and in three of the four, the secondary is undetected; this is consistent with predictions of recent models of binary formation by fragmentation. The primaries' circumstellar disk masses inferred from these observations are comparable to those found for young single stars, confirming that the presence of a wide binary companion does not prevent the formation of a protoplanetary disk. Some of the secondaries show signatures of accretion (H-alpha emission and K - L excesses), yet their mm fluxes suggest that very little disk mass is present.Comment: Accepted by ApJ, to appear Feb. 2003; 9 pages, 5 postscript figures, uses aastex, emulateapj5, and apjfonts style files. Also available at http://astro.swarthmore.edu/~jensen/publications.htm

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