Astrophys. J., 769, 21 (2013/May-3)
Measuring protoplanetary disk accretion with H I pfund β.
SALYK C., HERCZEG G.J., BROWN J.M., BLAKE G.A., PONTOPPIDAN K.M. and VAN DISHOECK E.F.
Abstract (from CDS):
In this work, we introduce the use of H I Pfund β (Pfβ; 4.6538 µm) as a tracer of mass accretion from protoplanetary disks onto young stars. Pfβ was serendipitously observed in NIRSPEC and CRIRES surveys of CO fundamental emission, amounting to a sample size of 120 young stars with detected Pfβ emission. Using a subsample of disks with previously measured accretion luminosities, we show that Pfβ line luminosity is well correlated with accretion luminosity over a range of at least three orders of magnitude. We use this correlation to derive accretion luminosities for all 120 targets, 65 of which are previously unreported in the literature. The conversion from accretion luminosity to accretion rate is limited by the availability of stellar mass and radius measurements; nevertheless, we also report accretion rates for 67 targets, 16 previously unmeasured. Our large sample size and our ability to probe high extinction values allow for relatively unbiased comparisons between different types of disks. We find that the transitional disks in our sample have lower than average Pfβ line luminosities, and thus accretion luminosities, at a marginally significant level. We also show that high Pfβ equivalent width is a signature of transitional disks with high inner disk gas/dust ratios. In contrast, we find that disks with signatures of slow disk winds have Pfβ luminosities comparable to those of other disks in our sample. Finally, we investigate accretion rates for stage I disks, including significantly embedded targets. We find that stage I and stage II disks have statistically indistinguishable Pfβ line luminosities, implying similar accretion rates, and that the accretion rates of stage I disks are too low to be consistent with quiescent accretion. Our results are instead consistent with both observational and theoretical evidence that stage I objects experience episodic, rather than quiescent, accretion.
accretion, accretion disks - protoplanetary disks - stars: formation - stars: pre-main sequence
VizieR on-line data:
<Available at CDS (J/ApJ/769/21): table1.dat table2.dat table3.dat table4.dat table5.dat refs.dat>
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