Volume 441, Number 1, October I 2005
|Page(s)||195 - 205|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||13 September 2005|
Size distribution of circumstellar disks in the Trapezium cluster
European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild Straße 2, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany e-mail: [svicente;jalves]@eso.org
2 Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Campo Grande, Portugal
Accepted: 3 June 2005
In this paper we present results on the size distribution of circumstellar disks in the Trapezium cluster as measured from HST/WFPC2 data. Direct diameter measurements of a sample of 135 bright proplyds and 14 silhouettes disks suggest that there is a single population of disks well characterized by a power-law distribution with an exponent of -1.9 ± 0.3 between disk diameters 100–400 AU. For the stellar mass sampled (from late G to late M stars) we find no obvious correlation between disk diameter and stellar mass. We also find that there is no obvious correlation between disk diameter and the projected distance to the ionizing Trapezium OB stars. We estimate that about 40% of the disks in the Trapezium have radius larger than 50 AU. We suggest that the origin of the Solar system's (Kuiper belt) outer edge is likely to be due to the star formation environment and disk destruction processes (photoevaporation, collisions) present in the stellar cluster on which the Sun was probably formed. Finally, we identified a previously unknown proplyd and named it 266–557, following convention.
Key words: stars: planetary systems: protoplanetary disks / stars: planetary systems: formation / stars: pre-main sequence / stars: low-mass, brown dwarfs / stars: formation
© ESO, 2005
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