No Transition Disk? Infrared Excess, PAH, H-2, And X-Rays From The Weak-Lined T Tauri Star DoAr 21

E. L.N. Jensen, Swarthmore College
D. H. Cohen, Swarthmore College
M. Gagné

© American Astronomical Society


As part of a program to understand disk dispersal and the interplay between circumstellar disks and X-ray emission, we present new high-resolution mid-infrared (IR) imaging, high-resolution optical spectroscopy, and Chandra grating X-ray spectroscopy of the weak-lined T Tauri star DoAr 21. DoAr 21 (age < 10(6) yr and mass similar to 2.2M(circle dot) based on evolutionary tracks) is a strong X-ray emitter, with conflicting evidence in the literature about its disk properties. It shows weak but broad H alpha emission (reported here for the first time since the 1950s); polarimetric variability; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) and H-2 emission; and a strong, spatially resolved 24 mu m excess in archival Spitzer photometry. Gemini sub-arcsecond-resolution 9-18 mu m images show that there is little or no excess mid-IR emission within 100 AU of the star; the excess emission is extended over several arcseconds and is quite asymmetric. The extended emission is bright in the ultraviolet (UV)-excited lambda = 11.3 mu m PAH emission feature. A new high-resolution X-ray grating spectrum from Chandra shows that the stellar X-ray emission is very hard and dominated by continuum emission; it is well fit by a multi-temperature thermal model, typical of hard coronal sources, and shows no evidence of unusually high densities. A flare during the X-ray observation shows a temperature approaching 10(8) K. We argue that the far-UV emission from the transition region is sufficient to excite the observed extended PAH and continuum emission, and that the H-2 emission may be similarly extended and excited. While this extended emission may be a disk in the final stages of clearing, it also could be more akin to a small-scale photodissociation region than a protoplanetary disk, highlighting both the very young ages (<10(6) yr) at which some stars are found without disks and the extreme radiation environment around even late-type pre-main-sequence stars.