Circumstellar disk fragmentation and the origin of massive planetary companions, brown dwarfs, and very low-mass stars

M. B.N. Kouwenhoven, Yun Li, D. Stamatellos, S. P. Goodwin, Bruce G. Elmegreen, L. Viktor Tóth, Manuel Güdel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The low-mass end of the initial mass function remains poorly understood. In this mass range, very low-mass stars, brown dwarfs, and massive planets are able to form through a variety of physical processes. Here, we study the long-term evolution of disk-fragmented systems around low-mass stars, for the epoch up to 10 Myr (the typical lifetime of an embedded cluster) and up to 10 Gyr (the age of the Milky Way). We carry out N-body simulations to study the decay of disk-fragmented systems and the resulting end products. Our simulations indicate rapid decay and frequent physical collisions during the first 10 Myr. We find that disk fragmentation provides a viable mechanism for explaining hierarchical triple systems, the brown dwarf desert, single and binary brown dwarfs, and very low-mass binary systems in the solar neighbourhood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-240
Number of pages2
JournalProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019


  • Stars: Formation
  • galaxy: Solar neighbourhood
  • planets and satellites: General
  • stars: Brown dwarfs
  • stars: Low-mass

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