The accretion disk of the lithium-depleted young binary ST 34

Lee Hartmann, Nuria Calvet, Dan M. Watson, P. D'Alessio, E. Furlan, B. Sargent, W. J. Forrest, K. I. Uchida, J. D. Green, G. C. Sloan, C. H. Chen, J. Najita, F. Kemper, T. L. Herter, P. Morris, D. J. Barry, P. Hall

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We present the infrared spectrum of the young binary system St 34 obtained with the Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) on the Spitzer Space Telescope. The IRS spectrum clearly shows excess dust emission, consistent with the suggestion of White & Hillenbrand that St 34 is accreting from a circumbinary disk. The disk emission of St 34 is low in comparison with the levels observed in typical T Tauri stars; silicate features at ∼10 and 20 μm are much weaker than typically seen in T Tauri stars; and excess emission is nearly absent at the shortest wavelengths observed (∼5 μm). These features of the infrared spectrum suggest substantial grain growth (to eliminate silicate features) and possible settling of dust to the disk midplane (to reduce the continuum excess emission levels), along with a relatively evacuated inner disk, as expected due to gravitational perturbations by the binary system. Although the position of St 34 in the H-R diagram suggests an age of 8 ± 3 Myr, assuming that it lies at the distance of the Taurus-Auriga molecular clouds, White & Hillenbrand could not detect any Li I absorption, which would indicate a Li depletion age of roughly 25 Myr or more. We suggest that St 34 is closer than the Taurus clouds by ∼ 30-40 pc and has an age roughly consistent with Li depletion models. Such an advanced age would make St 34 the oldest known low-mass pre-main-sequence object with a dusty accretion disk. The persistence of optically thick dust emission well outside the binary orbit may indicate a failure to make giant planets that could effectively remove dust particles. © 2005. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)L147-L150
    JournalAstrophysical Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2005


    • Accretion, accretion disks
    • Infrared: stars
    • Stars: formation
    • Stars: pre-main-sequence


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