Saturday, August 22, 2015

Circumstellar Disks Around Lupus Association T Tauri Stars are Unusually Short Lived

Evolution of the T Tauri star population in the Lupus association


Galli et al



In a recent study, we derived individual distances for 109 pre-main sequence stars that define the Lupus kinematic association of young stars. Here, we use these new distances to derive the masses and ages of Lupus T Tauri stars with the aim of better constraining the lifetime of their circumstellar disks.


Using the photometric and spectroscopic information available in the literature, we computed the photospheric luminosity of 92 T Tauri stars in the Lupus association. Then, we estimated their masses and ages from theoretical evolutionary models. Based on Monte Carlo simulations and statistical tests, we compare the mass and age distribution of the classical T Tauri stars (CTTS) and weak-line T Tauri (WTTS) in our sample.


We show that the CTTSs are on average younger than the WTTSs and that the probability that both T~Tauri subclasses are drawn from the same mass and age parental distribution is very low. Our results favor the scenario proposed earlier for the Taurus-Auriga association, where the CTTSs evolve into WTTSs when their disks are fully accreted by the star. Based on an empirical disk model, we find that the average disk lifetime for the T Tauri stars in the Lupus association is τd=3×106(M∗/M⊙)0.55 yr.


We find evidence that the average lifetime of the circumstellar disks in the Lupus association is shorter than in the Taurus-Auriga association and discuss the implications of this result.

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