Pre-main sequence stars with disks in the Eagle Nebula observed in scattered light*
Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiche ed Astronomiche, Universitá di Palermo, Piazza del Parlamento 1, 90134 Palermo, Italy e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo, Piazza del Parlamento 1, 90134 Palermo, Italy
3 Actually at Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, MS-3, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Accepted: 8 June 2010
Context. NGC 6611 and its parental cloud, the Eagle Nebula (M 16), are well-studied star-forming regions, thanks to their large content of both OB stars and stars with disks and the observed ongoing star formation. In our previous studies of the Eagle Nebula, we identified 834 disk-bearing stars associated with the cloud, after detecting their excesses in NIR bands from J band to 8.0 .
Aims. In this paper, we study in detail the nature of a subsample of disk-bearing stars that show peculiar characteristics. They appear older than the other members in the V vs. V–I diagram, and/or they have one or more IRAC colors at pure photospheric values, despite showing NIR excesses, when optical and infrared colors are compared.
Methods. We confirm the membership of these stars to M 16 by a spectroscopic analysis. The physical properties of these stars with disks are studied by comparing their spectral energy distributions (SEDs) with the SEDs predicted by models of T Tauri stars with disks and envelopes.
Results. We show that the age of these stars estimated from the V vs. V–I diagram is unreliable since their V–I colors are altered by the light scattered by the disk into the line of sight. Only in a few cases their SEDs are compatible with models with excesses in V band caused by optical veiling. Candidate members with disks and photospheric IRAC colors are selected by the used NIR disk diagnostic, which is sensitive to moderate excesses, such as those produced by disks with low masses. In 1/3 of these cases, scattering of stellar flux by the disks can also be invoked.
Conclusions. The photospheric light scattered by the disk grains into the line of sight can affect the derivation of physical parameters of Class II stars from photometric optical and NIR data. Besides, the disks diagnostic we defined are useful for selecting stars with disks, even those with moderate excesses or whose optical colors are altered by veiling or photospheric scattered light.
Key words: accretion, accretion disks / scattering / protoplanetary disks / circumstellar matter / stars: pre-main sequence / Hertzsprung-Russell and C-M diagrams
Table with the data of the stars is only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (188.8.131.52) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/521/A18
© ESO, 2010