Astrophys. J., 703, 1964-1983 (2009/October-1)
Disk evolution in the three nearby star-forming regions of Taurus, Chamaeleon, and Ophiuchus.
FURLAN E., WATSON D.M., McCLURE M.K., MANOJ P., ESPAILLAT C., D'ALESSIO P., CALVET N., KIM K.H., SARGENT B.A., FORREST W.J. and HARTMANN L.
Abstract (from CDS):
We analyze samples of Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph spectra of T Tauri stars in the Ophiuchus, Taurus, and Chamaeleon I star-forming regions, whose median ages lie in the <1-2 Myr range. The median mid-infrared spectra of objects in these three regions are similar in shape, suggesting, on average, similar disk structures. When normalized to the same stellar luminosity, the medians follow each other closely, implying comparable mid-infrared excess emission from the circumstellar disks. We use the spectral index between 13 and 31 µm and the equivalent width of the 10 µm silicate emission feature to identify objects whose disk configuration departs from that of a continuous, optically thick accretion disk. Transitional disks, whose steep 13-31 µm spectral slope and near-IR flux deficit reveal inner disk clearing, occur with about the same frequency of a few percent in all three regions. Objects with unusually large 10 µm equivalent widths are more common (20%-30%); they could reveal the presence of disk gaps filled with optically thin dust. Based on their medians and fraction of evolved disks, T Tauri stars in Taurus and Chamaeleon I are very alike. Disk evolution sets in early, since already the youngest region, the Ophiuchus core (L1688), has more settled disks with larger grains. Our results indicate that protoplanetary disks show clear signs of dust evolution at an age of a few Myr, even as early as ∼1 Myr, but age is not the only factor determining the degree of evolution during the first few million years of a disk's lifetime.
circumstellar matter - infrared: stars - stars: formation - stars: pre-main sequence
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<Available at CDS (J/ApJ/703/1964): table1.dat table2.dat table3.dat table4.dat table5.dat table6a.dat table6b.dat table6c.dat>
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