AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 13 Disks Around Young Stars
Poster, Monday, January 5, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

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[13.08] Constraining Disk Survival Times using the Statistical Properties of Proplyds in the Orion Nebula

K. A. Kretke, J. Bally (Univ. of Colorado)

The Orion Nebula, one of the closest and richest star forming regions, is an ideal laboratory for observing young stars. We perform a statistical study of the stars in this region, comparing photometric and spectroscopic data collected by Hillenbrand (1997) with images obtained using the Hubble Space Telescope collected by O’Dell and Wong (1996), Bally et. al. (2000), and new velocity-resolved Fabry-Perot data cubes that trace jets and outflows. We explore the relationships between stellar age and proplyd characteristics such as externally ionized structure and size and the presence or absence of outflows. Theoretical models predict that external photoevaporation will disperse minimum solar nebula circumstellar disks within 105 years. However, we identify objects that challenge this model as the central stars embedded in several proplyds have ages greater than half a million years. We place new constraints on the survival times of circumstellar disks in the Orion nebula based on the ages of their central stars.

This research is supported by NASA grants GO8324, GO9125, and NCC2-1052 (Astrobiology).

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.