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THE LONGEVITY OF CIRCUMSTELLAR DISKS: THE η CHAMAELEONTIS CLUSTER

  • LYO A-RAN (Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica (ASIAA)) ;
  • LAWSON W. A. (School of Physical, Environmental and Mathematical Sciences, University of New South Wales, Australian Defence Force Academy)
  • Published : 2005.06.01

Abstract

We have analysed near-infrared JHKL observations of the members of the $\approx$9 Myr-old $\eta$ Chamaeleontis cluster. Using (J - H)/(K - L) and (H - K)/(K - L) IR colour-colour diagrams for the brightest 15 members of the cluster, we find the fraction of stellar systems with near-IR excess emission was 0.60 $\pm$ 0.13 (2$\sigma$). For the CTT and WTT star population, we also find a strong correlation between the IR excess and Ha emission which is also known as an accretion indicator. The (K - L) excess of these stars appears to indicate a wide range of star-disk activity; from a CTT star with high levels of accretion, to CTT - WTT transitional objects with evidence for some on-going accretion, and WTT stars with weak or absent IR excesses. Among the brightest 15 members, four stars (RECX 5, 9, 11 and ECHA J0843.3-7905) with IR excesses ${\Delta}$(K - L) > 0.4 mag and strong or variable optical emission were identified as likely experiencing on-going mass accretion from their circumstellar disks which we confirmed their accretion disks from the optical high-resolution echelle spectroscopic study. The result-ing accretion fraction of 0.27 $\pm$ 0.13 (2$\sigma$) suggests that the accretion phase, in addition to the disks themselves, can endure for at least ${\~}$10 Myr.

Keywords

accretion: accretion disks;circumstellar matter;open clusters and associations: individual:

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