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Measuring Protoplanetary Disk Accretion with H I Pfund β

Salyk, Colette and Herczeg, Gregory J. and Brown, Joanna M. and Blake, Geoffrey A. and Pontoppidan, Klaus M. and van Dishoeck, Ewine F. (2013) Measuring Protoplanetary Disk Accretion with H I Pfund β. Astrophysical Journal, 769 (1). Art. No. 21. ISSN 0004-637X.

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In this work, we introduce the use of H I Pfund β (Pfβ; 4.6538 μm) as a tracer of mass accretion from protoplanetary disks onto young stars. Pfβ was serendipitously observed in NIRSPEC and CRIRES surveys of CO fundamental emission, amounting to a sample size of 120 young stars with detected Pfβ emission. Using a subsample of disks with previously measured accretion luminosities, we show that Pfβ line luminosity is well correlated with accretion luminosity over a range of at least three orders of magnitude. We use this correlation to derive accretion luminosities for all 120 targets, 65 of which are previously unreported in the literature. The conversion from accretion luminosity to accretion rate is limited by the availability of stellar mass and radius measurements; nevertheless, we also report accretion rates for 67 targets, 16 previously unmeasured. Our large sample size and our ability to probe high extinction values allow for relatively unbiased comparisons between different types of disks. We find that the transitional disks in our sample have lower than average Pfβ line luminosities, and thus accretion luminosities, at a marginally significant level. We also show that high Pfβ equivalent width is a signature of transitional disks with high inner disk gas/dust ratios. In contrast, we find that disks with signatures of slow disk winds have Pfβ luminosities comparable to those of other disks in our sample. Finally, we investigate accretion rates for stage I disks, including significantly embedded targets. We find that stage I and stage II disks have statistically indistinguishable Pfβ line luminosities, implying similar accretion rates, and that the accretion rates of stage I disks are too low to be consistent with quiescent accretion. Our results are instead consistent with both observational and theoretical evidence that stage I objects experience episodic, rather than quiescent, accretion.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Salyk, Colette0000-0003-3682-6632
Herczeg, Gregory J.0000-0002-7154-6065
Blake, Geoffrey A.0000-0003-0787-1610
Pontoppidan, Klaus M.0000-0001-7552-1562
van Dishoeck, Ewine F.0000-0001-7591-1907
Additional Information:© 2013 American Astronomical Society. Received 2012 October 16; accepted 2013 March 14; published 2013 May 1. C.S. thanks Casey Deen and Chris Sneden for providing an introduction to MOOG. C.S. also acknowledges the financial support of the NOAO Leo Goldberg Fellowship program and the University of Texas at Austin McDonald Observatory Harlan J. Smith Postdoctoral Fellowship. E.v.D. is supported by EU A-ERC grant 291141. This publication makes use of data products from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, which is a joint project of the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Some of the data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Optical Astronomy ObservatoryUNSPECIFIED
University of Texas at AustinUNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)291141 CHEMPLAN
W. M. Keck Foundation.UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:accretion, accretion disks; protoplanetary disks; stars: formation; stars: pre-main sequence
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130712-083344073
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Official Citation:Measuring Protoplanetary Disk Accretion with H I Pfund β Colette Salyk, Gregory J. Herczeg, Joanna M. Brown, Geoffrey A. Blake, Klaus M. Pontoppidan, and Ewine F. van Dishoeck doi:10.1088/0004-637X/769/1/21
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:39332
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:12 Jul 2013 16:29
Last Modified:09 Dec 2019 21:56

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