SCYON Abstract

Received on September 18 2006

Evidence for Mass-dependent Circumstellar Disk Evolution in the 5 Myr-old Upper Scorpius OB Association

AuthorsJohn M. Carpenter (1)
Eric E. Mamajek (2)
Lynne A. Hillenbrand (1)
Michael R. Meyer (3)
(1) Caltech
(2) Harvard-CfA
(3) U. Arizona
To appear inApJ Letters


We present 4.5, 8, and 16μm photometry from the Spitzer Space Telescope for 204 stars in the Upper Scorpius OB Association. The data are used to investigate the frequency and properties of circumstellar disks around stars with masses between ∼0.1 and 20Msun at an age of ∼5 Myr. We identify 35 stars that have emission at 8μm or 16μm in excess of the stellar photosphere. The lower mass stars (∼0.1-1.2Msun) appear surrounded by primordial optically thick disks based on the excess emission characteristics. Stars more massive than ∼1.8Msun have lower fractional excess luminosities suggesting that the inner ∼10 AU of the disk has been largely depleted of primordial material. None of the G and F stars (∼1.2-1.8Msun) in our sample have an infrared excess at wavelengths =<16μm. These results indicate that the mechanisms for dispersing primordial optically thick disks operate less efficiently on average for low mass stars, and that longer time scales are available for the buildup of planetary systems in the terrestrial zone for stars with masses ∼<1Msun.