Astrophys. J., 636, 932-951 (2006/January-2)
Investigating disk evolution: a high spatial resolution mid-infrared survey of T Tauri stars.
McCABE C., GHEZ A.M., PRATO L., DUCHENE G., FISHER R.S. and TELESCO C.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present a high spatial resolution, 10-20 µm survey of 65 T Tauri binary stars in Taurus, Ophiuchus, and Corona Australis using the Keck 10 m telescopes. Designed to probe the inner ∼1 AU region of the circumstellar disks around the individual stellar components in these binary systems, this study increases the number of binaries with spatially resolved measurements at 10 µm by a factor of ∼5. Combined with resolved near-infrared photometry and spectroscopic accretion diagnostics, we find that ∼10% of stars with a mid-infrared excess do not appear to be accreting. In contrast to an actively accreting disk system, these passive disks have significantly lower near-infrared colors that are, in most cases, consistent with photospheric emission, suggesting the presence of an inner disk hole. In addition, there appears to be a spectral type/mass dependence associated with the presence of a passive disk, with all passive disks occurring around M-type stars. The presence of a passive disk does not appear to be related to the fact that these objects are in visual binary systems; the passive disk systems span the entire range of binary separations present in the sample, and a similar fraction of passive disks is observed in a sample of single stars. The possibility that the passive disks are caused by the presence of an as yet undetected companion at a small separation (0.3-3 AU) is possible for any individual system; however, it cannot account for the spectral type dependence of the passive disk sample as a whole. We propose that these passive disks represent a subset of T Tauri stars that are undergoing significant disk evolution. The fraction of observed passive disks and the observed spectral type dependence can both be explained by models of disk evolution that include disk photoevaporation from the central star.
Stars: Binaries: Close - Stars: Circumstellar Matter - Stars: Planetary Systems: Protoplanetary Disks - Stars: Pre-Main-Sequence
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<Available at CDS (J/ApJ/636/932): table1.dat table3.dat table4.dat refs.dat>
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