Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany e-mail: email@example.com
2 Purple Mountain Observatory, 2 West Beijing Road, 210008 Nanjing, PR China
3 ISDC Data Centre for Astrophysics, University of Geneva, chemin d'Ecogia 16, 1290 Versoix, Switzerland
4 Observatoire de Genève, University of Geneva, chemin des Maillettes 51, 1290 Sauverny, Switzerland
Accepted: 26 June 2009
Context. Knowledge of the evolution of circumstellar accretion disks is pivotal to our understanding of star and planet formation; and yet despite intensive theoretical and observational studies, the disk dissipation process is not well understood. Infrared observations of large numbers of young stars, as performed by the Spitzer Space Telescope, may advance our knowledge of this inherently complex process. While infrared data reveal the evolutionary status of the disk, they hold little information on the properties of the central star and the accretion characteristics.
Aims. Existing 2MASS and Spitzer archive data of the Lynds 1630N and 1641 clouds in the Orion GMC provide disk properties of a large number of young stars. We wish to complement these data with optical data that provide the physical stellar parameters and accretion characteristics.
Methods. We performed a large optical spectroscopic and photometric survey of the aforementioned clouds. Spectral types, as well as accretion and outflow characteristics, are derived from our VLT/VIMOS spectra. Optical SDSS and CAHA/LAICA imaging was combined with 2MASS, Spitzer IRAC, and MIPS imaging to obtain spectral energy distributions from 0.4 to 24 μm. Reddened model atmospheres were fitted to the optical/NIR photometric data, keeping fixed at the spectroscopic value. Mass and age estimates of individual objects were made through placement in the HR diagram and comparison to several sets of pre-main sequence evolutionary tracks.
Results. We provide a catalog of 132 confirmed young stars in L1630N and 267 such objects in L1641. We identify 28 transition disk systems, 20 of which were previously unknown, as well as 42 new transition disk candidates for which we have broad-band photometry but no optical spectroscopy. We give mass and age estimates for the individual stars, as well as equivalent widths of optical emission lines, the extinction, and measures of the evolutionary state of the circumstellar dusty disk. We estimate mass accretion rates from the equivalent widths of the Hα, Hβ, and He I 5876 Å emission lines, and find a dependence of , with 3.1 in the subsolar mass range that we probe. An investigation of a large literature sample of mass accretion rate estimates yields a similar slope of 2.8 in the subsolar regime, but a shallower slope of 2.0 if the whole mass range of 0.04 ≤ ≤ 5 is included. The fraction of stars with transition disks that show significant accretion activity is relatively low compared to stars with still optically thick disks (26 ± 11% vs. 57 ± 6%, respectively). However, those transition disks that do show significant accretion have the same median accretion rate as normal optically thick disks of 3-4 10-9 yr-1. Analyzing the age distribution of various populations, we find that the ages of the CTTSs and the WTTSs with disks are statistically indistinguishable, the WTTSs without disks are significantly older than the CTTSs, and the ages of the transition disks and the WTTSs without disks are statistically indistinguishable. These results argue against disk-binary interaction or gravitational instability as mechanisms causing a transition disk appearance. Our observations indicate that disk lifetimes in the clustered population are shorter than in the distributed population. In addition to the spectroscopic sample analyzed in this paper, we provide a photometric catalog of sources detected in the optical and infrared, but without spectroscopic observations. As judged by their infrared colors, many of these are YSO candidates. In our survey we identify 2 new aggregates in L1641. We find 4 apparently subluminous objects with extremely high equivalent widths of Hα and other emission lines, and 1 previously unknown FU Orionis object. We find that the low-density molecular cloud emission that surrounds the star-forming cores has significant substructure on scales of 0.2 pc in L1641 but not in L1630. We propose refined Hα equivalent width criteria to distinguish WTTSs from CTTSs in which the boundary EW is lowered significantly for late M spectral types.
Key words: surveys / stars: pre-main sequence / planetary systems: protoplanetary disks / accretion, accretion disks
Based on observations performed at ESO's La Silla-Paranal observatory under programme 078.C-0696, and on observations collected at the German-Spanish Astronomical Center, Calar Alto, jointly operated by the Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie Heidelberg and the Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia (CSIC).
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© ESO, 2009