Near-Infrared Interferometric, Spectroscopic, and Photometric Monitoring of T Tauri Inner Disks


We present high angular resolution observations with the Keck Interferometer, high-dispersion spectroscopic observations with Keck/NIRSPEC, and near-IR photometric observations from PAIRITEL of a sample of 11 solar-type T Tauri stars in nine systems. We use these observations to probe the circumstellar material within 1 AU of these young stars, measuring the circumstellar- to-stellar flux ratios and angular size scales of the 2.2 μm emission. Our sample spans a range of stellar luminosities and mass accretion rates, allowing investigation of potential correlations between inner disk properties and stellar or accretion properties. We suggest that the mechanism by which the dusty inner disk is truncated may depend on the accretion rate of the source; in objects with low accretion rates, the stellar magnetospheres may truncate the disks, while sublimation may truncate dusty disks around sources with higher accretion rates. We have also included in our sample objects that are known to be highly variable (based on previous photometric and spectroscopic observations), and for several sources, we obtained multiple epochs of spectroscopic and interferometric data, supplemented by near-IR photometric monitoring, to search for inner disk variability. While time- variable veilings and accretion rates are observed in some sources, no strong evidence for inner disk pulsation is found.

Astrophysical Journal