Volume 551, March 2013
|Number of page(s)||26|
|Published online||04 March 2013|
X-shooter spectroscopy of young stellar objects
European Southern Observatory, Karl Schwarzschild Str. 2, 85748
2 INAF − Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
3 Department of Planetary Science, Lunar and Planetary Lab, University of Arizona, 1629, E. University Blvd, Tucson AZ 85719, USA
4 INAF − Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, via Moiariello 16, 80131 Napoli, Italy
5 School of Cosmic Physics, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 31 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2, Ireland
6 INAF − Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo, Piazza del Parlamento 1, 90134 Palermo, Italy
7 INAF − Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, via Bianchi 46, 23807 Merate ( LC), Italy
8 INAF − Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste, via Tiepolo 11, 34143 Trieste, Italy
9 INAF − Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, via di Frascati 33, 00040 Monte Porzio Catone ( RM), Italy
Accepted: 10 January 2013
Context. The lack of knowledge of photospheric parameters and the level of chromospheric activity in young low-mass pre-main sequence stars introduces uncertainties when measuring mass accretion rates in accreting (Class II) young stellar objects. A detailed investigation of the effect of chromospheric emission on the estimates of mass accretion rate in young low-mass stars is still missing. This can be undertaken using samples of young diskless (Class III) K and M-type stars.
Aims. Our goal is to measure the chromospheric activity of Class III pre main sequence stars to determine its effect on the estimates of the accretion luminosity (Lacc) and mass accretion rate (Ṁacc) in young stellar objects with disks.
Methods. Using VLT/X-shooter spectra, we analyzed a sample of 24 nonaccreting young stellar objects of spectral type between K5 and M9.5. We identified the main emission lines normally used as tracers of accretion in Class II objects, and we determined their fluxes in order to estimate the contribution of the chromospheric activity to the line luminosity.
Results. We have used the relationships between line luminosity and accretion luminosity derived in the literature for Class II objects to evaluate the impact of chromospheric activity on the accretion rate measurements. We find that the typical chromospheric activity would bias the derived accretion luminosity by Lacc,noise< 10-3 L⊙, with a strong dependence on the Teff of the objects. The noise on Ṁacc depends on stellar mass and age, and the typical values of log(Ṁacc,noise) range between ~−9.2 to −11.6 M⊙/yr.
Conclusions. Values of Lacc ≲10-3 L⊙ obtained in accreting low-mass pre main sequence stars through line luminosity should be treated with caution because the line emission may be dominated by the contribution of chromospheric activity.
Key words: stars: pre-main sequence / stars: low-mass / stars: activity
Based on observations collected in the programs 084.C-0269, 085.C-0238, 086.C-0173, 087.C-0244, 089.C-0143 at the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (Chile).
Tables 6, 7, and Appendices are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2013
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