AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 93. Star Formation II
Poster, Wednesday, January 8, 2003, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall AB

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[93.14] On the Interferometric Sizes of Young Stellar Objects

J. Monnier (University of Michigan, Astronomy Department), R. Millan-Gabet (Caltech, Interferometry Science Center)

Long-baseline optical interferometers can now detect and resolve hot dust emission thought to arise at the inner edge of circumstellar disks around young stellar objects (YSOs). We argue that the near-infrared sizes being measured are closely related to the radius at which dust is sublimated by the stellar radiation field. We consider how realistic dust optical properties and gas opacity dramatically affect the predicted location of this dust destruction radius, an exercise routinely done in other contexts but so far neglected in the analysis of near-infrared sizes of YSOs. We also present the accumulated literature of near-infrared YSO sizes in the form of a ``size-luminosity diagram'' and compare with theoretical expectations. We find evidence that large (\gtrsim 1 micron) dust grains predominate in the inner disks of T Tauri and Herbig Ae/Be stars, under the assumption that the inner-most gaseous disks are optically-thin at visible wavelengths.

We will also give an update report on the status of the new YSO surveys underway at the IOTA (Traub et al.) and Keck (Colavita et al.) Interferometers.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #4
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.