The massive star binary fraction in young open clusters I. NGC 6231 revisited

H. Sana, E. Gosset, Y. Naze, G. Rauw, N. Linder

European Southern Observatory, Chile
Liege University, Belgium

We present the results of a long-term high-resolution spectroscopy campaign on the O-type stars in NGC 6231. We revise the spectral classification and multiplicity of these objects and we constrain the fundamental properties of the O-star population. Almost three quarters of the O-type stars in the cluster are members of a binary system. The minimum binary fraction is 0.63, with half the O-type binaries having an orbital period of the order of a few days. The eccentricities of all the short-period binaries are revised downward, and henceforth match a normal period-eccentricity distribution. The mass-ratio distribution shows a large preference for O+OB binaries, ruling out the possibility that, in NGC 6231, the companion of an O-type star is randomly drawn from a standard IMF. Obtained from a complete and homogeneous population of O-type stars, our conclusions provide interesting observational constraints to be confronted with the formation and early-evolution theories of O stars.

Reference: Accepted by MNRAS
Status: Manuscript has been accepted