POISSON project - III - Investigating the evolution of the mass accretion rate

Research paper by S. Antoniucci, R. Garcia Lopez, B. Nisini, A. Caratti o Garatti, T. Giannini, D. Lorenzetti

Indexed on: 01 Oct '14Published on: 01 Oct '14Published in: arXiv - Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics


As part of the POISSON project (Protostellar Optical-Infrared Spectral Survey on NTT), we present the results of the analysis of low-resolution NIR spectra 0.9-2.4 um) of two samples of YSOs in Lupus and Serpens (52 and 17 objects), with masses 0.1-2.0 Msun and ages from 10^5 to a few 10^7 yr. After determining the accretion parameters of the Lup and Ser targets by analysing their HI near-IR emission features, we added the results to those from previous regions (investigated in POISSON with the same methodology). We obtained a final catalogue (143 objects) of mass accretion rates (Macc) derived in a homogeneous fashion and analysed how Macc correlates with M* and how it evolves in time. We derived the accretion luminosity (Lacc) and Macc for Lup and Ser objects from the Br_gamma line by using relevant empirical relationships from the literature that connect HI line luminosity and Lacc. To minimise the biases and also for self-consistency, we re-derived mass and age for each source using the same set of evolutionary tracks. We observe a correlation MaccM*^2.2, similarly to what has previously been observed in several star-forming clouds. The time variation of Macc is roughly consistent with the expected evolution in viscous disks, with an asymptotic decay that behaves as t^-1.6. However, Macc values are characterised by a large scatter at similar ages and are on average higher than the predictions of viscous models. Although part of the scattering may be related to the employed empirical relationship and to uncertainties on the single measurements, the general distribution and decay trend of the Macc points are real. These findings might be indicative of a large variation in the initial mass of the disks, of fairly different viscous laws among disks, of varying accretion regimes, and of other mechanisms that add to the dissipation of the disks, such as photo-evaporation.

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