NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2002B-0199

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Proposal Information for 2002B-0199


PI: Aurora Sicilia-Aguilar, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, asicilia@cfa.harvard.edu
Address: Mail Stop 42, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

CoI: Lee Hartmann, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
CoI: James Muzerolle, University of Arizona
CoI: Cesar Briceno, CIDA, Merida, Venezuela

Title: Cluster survey of protoplanetary disk evolution

Abstract: We propose to identify cluster samples for studying disk evolution in the 3-10 Myr age range, the epoch during which planet formation is thought to occur. Based on studies of the high-mass members, and on our previous observations with Hydra, Tr 37 and NGC 7160 have ages of ~ 3-5 and ~ 10 Myr, respectively, so they are good clusters for our survey. We have selected 600 candidates in each cluster from photometry, which require spectroscopic followup with Hydra to confirm membership. Our previous limited observations have revealed the power of Hydra spectra to identify cluster members through the presence of two main spectral features, H(alpha) emission, related to accretion processes, and Li I 6707 Aabsorption, a characteristic feature of young, low-mass (late K and M types) stars. Our proposed Hydra observations will result in a sample of stars with well-established ages in the 3-10 Myr range for studies of disk evolution as a function of stellar mass and age.


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