The transitional protoplanetary disk frequency as a function of age: disk evolution in the coronet cluster Taurus, and other 1-8 Myr OLD regions

Thayne Currie, Aurora Sicilia-Aguilar

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58 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present Spitzer 3.6-24 mu m photometry and spectroscopy for stars in the 1-3 Myr old Coronet Cluster, expanding upon the survey of Sicilia-Aguilar et al. Using sophisticated radiative transfer models, we analyze these new data and those from Sicilia-Aguilar et al. to identify disks with evidence for substantial dust evolution consistent with disk clearing: transitional disks. We then analyze data in Taurus and others young clusters-IC 348, NGC 2362, and eta Cha-to constrain the transitional disk frequency as a function of time. Our analysis confirms previous results finding evidence for two types of transitional disks-those with inner holes and those that are homologously depleted. The percentage of disks in the transitional phase increases from similar to 15%-20% at 1-2 Myr to >= 50% at 5-8 Myr; the mean transitional disk lifetime is closer to similar to 1 Myr than 0.1-0.5 Myr, consistent with previous studies by Currie et al. and Sicilia-Aguilar et al. In the Coronet Cluster and IC 348, transitional disks are more numerous for very low mass M3-M6 stars than for more massive K5-M2 stars, while Taurus lacks a strong spectral-type-dependent frequency. Assuming standard values for the gas-to-dust ratio and other disk properties, the lower limit for the masses of optically thick primordial disks is M-disk approximate to 0.001-0.003 M-star. We find that single color-color diagrams do not by themselves uniquely identify transitional disks or primordial disks. Full spectral energy distribution modeling is required to accurately assess disk evolution for individual sources and inform statistical estimates of the transitional disk population in large samples using mid-IR colors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number24
Number of pages35
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume732
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2011

Keywords

  • planets and satellites: formation protoplanetary disks stars: pre-main sequence YOUNG STELLAR OBJECTS SPECTRAL ENERGY-DISTRIBUTIONS SPITZER-SPACE-TELESCOPE MAIN-SEQUENCE STARS LOW-MASS STARS 2-DIMENSIONAL RADIATIVE-TRANSFER ETA CHAMAELEONTIS CLUSTER CIRCUMSTELLAR DUST DISKS DEBRIS DISKS PLANET FORMATION

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