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2005ApJ...635..422C - Astrophys. J., 635, 422-441 (2005/December-2)

Evidence for J- and H-band excess in classical T Tauri stars and the implications for disk structure and estimated ages.

CIEZA L.A., KESSLER-SILACCI J.E., JAFFE D.T., HARVEY P.M. and EVANS II N.J.

Abstract (from CDS):

We argue that classical T Tauri stars (CTTSs) possess significant nonphotospheric excess in the J and H bands (1.25 and 1.66 µm, respectively). We first show that normalizing the spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of CTTSs to the J band leads to a poor fit of the optical fluxes (which are systematically overestimated), while normalizing the SEDs to the ICband (0.8 µm) produces a better fit to the optical bands and in many cases reveals the presence of a considerable excess at J and H. Near-infrared spectroscopic veiling measurements from the literature support this result. We find that J- and H-band excesses correlate well with the K-band (2.2 µm) excess and that the J-K and H-K colors of the excess emission are consistent with that of a blackbody at the dust sublimation temperature (∼1500-2000 K). We propose that this near-IR excess originates at a hot inner rim, analogous to those suggested to explain the near-IR bump'' in the SEDs of Herbig Ae/Be stars. To test our hypothesis, we use the model presented by Dullemond and coworkers to fit the photometry data between 0.5 and 24 µm of 10 CTTSs associated with the Chamaeleon II molecular cloud. We find that simple models that include luminosities calculated from IC-band magnitudes and an inner rim may account for the reported J- and H-band excesses. The models that best fit the data are those in which the inner radius of the disk is larger than expected for a rim in thermal equilibrium with the photospheric radiation field alone. In particular, we find that large inner rims are necessary to account for the mid-infrared fluxes (3.6-8.0 µm) obtained by the Spitzer Space Telescope (Spitzer). The large radius could be explained if, as proposed by D'Alessio and colleagues, the UV radiation from the accretion shock significantly affects the sizes of the inner holes in disks around CTTSs. Finally, we argue that deriving the stellar luminosities of CTTSs by making bolometric corrections to the J-band fluxes, which is the standard'' procedure for obtaining CTTS luminosities, systematically overestimates these luminosities. The overestimated luminosities translate into underestimated ages when the stars are placed in the H-R diagram. Thus, the results presented herein have important implications for the dissipation timescale of inner accretion disks.

Journal keyword(s): Infrared: Stars - Stars: Formation - Stars: Pre-Main-Sequence

CDS comments: Table 3 : Lk 19 = LkCa 19, 1RX J0438.2+202 = 1RXS J043745.7+201034