Sunday, August 4, 2013

1308.0114 (Aurora Sicilia-Aguilar et al.)

The low-mass stellar population in the young cluster Tr37: Disk evolution, accretion, and environment    [PDF]

Aurora Sicilia-Aguilar, Jinyoung Serena Kim, Andrej Sobolev, Konstantin Getman, Thomas Henning, Min Fang
We present a study of accretion and protoplanetary disks around M-type stars in the 4 Myr-old cluster Tr37. With a well-studied solar-type population, Tr37 is a benchmark for disk evolution. We used low-resolution spectroscopy to identify 141 members (78 new) and 64 probable members, mostly M-type stars. H\alpha\ emission provides information about accretion. Optical, 2MASS, Spitzer, and WISE data are used to trace the SEDs. We construct radiative transfer models to explore the structures of full-disks, pre-transition, transition, and dust-depleted disks. Including the new and previously known members, we confirm that a substantial fraction (~2/5) of disks show signs of evolution, either as radial dust evolution (transition/pre-transition disks) or as a more global evolution (low small-dust masses, dust settling, and weak/absent accretion signatures). Accretion is strongly dependent on the SED type. About half of the transition objects are consistent with no accretion, and dust-depleted disks have weak (or undetectable) accretion signatures, especially among M-type stars. The analysis of accretion and disk structure suggests a parallel evolution of dust and gas. We find several distinct classes of evolved disks, based on SED type and accretion, pointing to different disk dispersal mechanisms and probably different evolutionary paths. Dust depletion and opening of inner holes appear to be independent processes: most transition disks are not dust-depleted, and most dust-depleted disks do not require inner holes. The differences in disk structure between M-type and solar-type stars in Tr37 (4 Myr) are not as remarkable as in the young, sparse, Coronet cluster (1-2 Myr), suggesting that other factors, like the environment/interactions, are likely to play a role in the disk evolution and dispersal. Finally, we also find some evidence of clumpy star formation or mini-clusters within Tr37.
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