Volume 540, April 2012
|Number of page(s)||22|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||23 March 2012|
Protoplanetary disks of T Tauri binary systems in the Orion nebula cluster⋆
1 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschildstr. 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
2 Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP), An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
Received: 21 October 2011
Accepted: 11 January 2012
Aims. We present a study of protoplanetary disks in spatially resolved low-mass binary stars in the well-known Orion nebula cluster (ONC) to assess the impact of binarity on the properties of circumstellar disks. This is currently the largest such study in a clustered high-stellar-density star-forming environment, as opposed to previous studies, which have mostly been focussed on the young, low-stellar-density Taurus association. We particularly aim to determine the presence of magnetospheric accretion and dust disks for each binary component, and measure the overall disk frequency.
Methods. We carried out spatially resolved adaptive-optics-assisted observations to acquire near-infrared photometry and spectroscopy of 26 binaries in the ONC, and determine stellar parameters such as effective temperatures, spectral types, luminosities, and masses, as well as accretion properties and near-infrared excesses for the individual binary components. On the basis of our medium resolution K-band spectroscopy, we infer the presence of magnetospheric accretion around each binary component by measuring the strength of the Brackett-γ emission. The accretion disk frequency among the ONC binaries is then estimated from Bayesian statistics. The observed disk signatures, measured accretion luminosities, and mass accretion rates are investigated with respect to the binary separation, mass ratios, and distance to the center of the ONC.
Results. A fraction of 40+10-9% of the binary components in the sample can be inferred to be T Tauri stars possessing an accretion disk. This is only marginally smaller than the disk fraction of single stars of ~50% in the ONC. We find that disks in wide binaries of >200 AU separation are consistent with random pairing, while the evolution of circumprimary and circumsecondary disks is observed to be synchronized in close binaries (separations < 200 AU). Circumbinary disks appear to be unsuitable to explain this difference. Furthermore, we identify several mixed pairs of accreting and non-accreting components, suggesting that these systems are common and that there is no preference for either the more or less massive component to evolve faster. The derived accretion luminosities and mass accretion rates of the ONC binary components are of similar magnitude as those for both ONC single stars and binaries in the Taurus star-forming region. The paper concludes with a discussion of the (presumably weak) connection between the presence of inner accretion disks in young binary systems and the existence of planets in stellar multiples.
Key words: binaries: visual / stars: late-type / stars: pre-main sequence
© ESO, 2012
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