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E.L. Hawks, C.M. Johns-Krull (Rice University), C.M. Hamilton (Mt. Holyoke College)
We use the cross dispersed echelle spectrometer on the 2.7 m Harlan J. Smith telescope at McDonald Observatory to measure the optical veiling in several classical T Tauri stars with known rotation periods in the Orion star formation region. Veiling is the excess continuum produced as circumstellar matter accretes onto the stellar surface. Pervious studies have generally ignored this excess continuum when analyzing the V, R and I colors to determine stellar and accretion properties of the low mass young stars in Orion. We find for a number of stars that the veiling flux contributes significantly to the V and Ic colors. We use our veiling measurements to correct literature photometric data in order to calculate new extinction values and intrinsic magnitudes for each star. We then use these corrected magnitudes with pre-main sequence evolutionary tracks to obtain new estimates of the stellar luminosity, radius, mass, and age of each star in our sample. Combining these updated parameters with our veiling measurements, we determine accurate accretion rate estimates which we will use to test disk locking theory in the low mass stars of Orion. This research was supported in part by a NASA Origins grant to Rice University.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.