Short dissipation times of proto-planetary disks: an artifact of selection effects?
PFALZNER S., STEINHAUSEN M. and MENTEN K.
Abstract (from CDS):
The frequency of disks around young stars, a key parameter for understanding planet formation, is most readily determined in young stellar clusters where many relatively coeval stars are located in close proximity. Observational studies seem to show that the disk frequency decreases rapidly with cluster age with <10% of cluster stars retaining their disks for longer than 2-6 Myr. Given that at least half of all stars in the field seem to harbor one or more planets, this would imply extremely fast disk dispersal and rapid planet growth. Here we question the validity of this constraint by demonstrating that the short disk dissipation times inferred to date might have been heavily underestimated by selection effects. Critically, for ages >3 Myr only stars that originally populated the densest areas of very populous clusters, which are prone to disk erosion, are actually considered. This tiny sample may not be representative of the majority of stars. In fact, the higher disk fractions in co-moving groups indicate that it is likely that over 30% of all field stars retain their disks well beyond 10 Myr, leaving ample time for planet growth. Equally, our solar system, with a likely formation time >10 Myr, need no longer be an exception but in fact typical of planetary systems.
circumstellar matter - open clusters and associations: general - planets and satellites: formation - planetary systems - protoplanetary disks