Constraints on Inner Disk Evolution Timescales: A Disk Census of the η Chamaeleontis Young Cluster

Karl E., Jr. Haisch, Ray Jayawardhana, João Alves

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelPeer Reviewed


We present new L'-band (3.8 μm) observations of stars in the nearby (~97 pc) young (~6 Myr) compact cluster around η Chamaeleontis, obtained with the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Paranal, Chile. Our data, combined with J,H,Ks photometry from the Two Micron All Sky Survey, reveal that only two of the 12 members surveyed harbor L'-band excesses consistent with optically thick inner disks; both are also likely accretors. Intriguingly, two other stars with possible evidence of ongoing accretion, albeit at very low rates, do not show significant infrared excess: this may imply substantial grain growth and/or partial clearing of the inner disk region, as expected in planet formation scenarios. Our findings suggest that η Cha stars are in an epoch when disks are rapidly evolving, perhaps due to processes related to planet building, and provide further constraints on inner disk lifetimes.
Seiten (von - bis)L57-L60
FachzeitschriftThe Astrophysical journal Letters
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 1 Juli 2005

ÖFOS 2012

  • 103004 Astrophysik