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Probing Star Formation with High Resolution Spectroscopy: Multiplicity, Disk Braking, and Accretion in Chamaeleon I and Taurus-Auriga

Duy Cuong Nguyen

Doctor of Philosophy 2010
Graduate Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto

In this thesis, we focus on obtaining and interpreting observational information on (i) the role of multiplicity on the properties of young stars; (ii) the early evolutionary influence of circumstellar disks; and (iii) the nature of accretion in young systems. To facilitate this research, we conducted an extensive multi-epoch high-resolution spectroscopic survey at optical wavelengths (3 200–10 000 A) of ~ 200 T Tauri stars in the ~ 2Myr old Chamaeleon I, and Taurus-Auriga star-forming regions with the Magellan Inamori Kyocera Echelle (MIKE) spectrograph on the Magellan Clay 6.5 m telescope.

From the spectroscopic data, we identify eight close binaries and four close triples, of which three and two, respectively, are new discoveries. We find that the multiplicity fraction for Cha I and Tau-Aur are similar to each other, and to the results of field star surveys. The frequency of systems with close companions in our sample is not seen to depend on primary mass or accretion.

We probed for evidence of disk braking. We did not see a statistically significant difference between the distribution of rotational velocities with the presence of an inner disk. Also, our findings show that F–K stars in our sample have larger rotational velocities and specific angular momentum than M stars.

We also analyzed accretion variability in our sample using the Hα 10% width and the Ca II-λ8662 line flux as accretion diagnostics. We find that the maximum extent of accretion variability in our sample was reached on timescale of a few days, indicating that rotation could significantly contribute to the variability.

Reproduced with permission. library@astro.utoronto.ca
March 22, 2010