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Discovery of "isolated" co-moving T Tauri stars in Cepheus

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Guillout, P. and Frasca, A. and Klutsch, A. and Marilli, E. and Montes Gutiérrez, David (2010) Discovery of "isolated" co-moving T Tauri stars in Cepheus. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 520 . ISSN 0004-6361

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201014799


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Abstract

Context. During the course of a large spectroscopic survey of X-ray active late-type stars in the solar neighbourhood, we discovered four lithium-rich stars packed within just a few degrees on the sky. Although located in a sky area rich in CO molecular regions and dark clouds, the Cepheus-Cassiopeia complex, these very young stars are projected several degrees away from clouds in front of an area void of interstellar matter. As such, they are very good "isolated" T Tauri star candidates. Aims. We present optical observations of these stars conducted with 1-2 m class telescopes. We acquired high-resolution optical spectra as well as photometric data allowing us to investigate in detail their nature and physical parameters with the aim of testing the "runaway" and "in-situ" formation scenarios. Their kinematical properties are also analyzed to investigate their possible connection to already known stellar kinematic groups. Methods. We use the cross-correlation technique and other tools developed by us to derive accurate radial and rotational velocities and perform an automatic spectral classification. The spectral subtraction technique is used to infer chromospheric activity level in the Hα line core and clean the spectra of photospheric lines before measuring the equivalent width of the lithium absorption line. Results. Both physical (lithium content, chromospheric, and coronal activities) and kinematical indicators show that all stars are very young, with ages probably in the range 10-30 Myr. In particular, the spectral energy distribution of TYC4496-780-1 displays a strong near-and far-infrared excess, typical of T Tauri stars still surrounded by an accretion disc. They also share the same Galactic motion, proving that they form a homogeneous moving group of stars with the same origin. Conclusions. The most plausible explanation of how these "isolated" T Tauri stars formed is the "in-situ" model, although accurate distances are needed to clarify their connection with the Cepheus-Cassiopeia complex. The discovery of this loose association of "isolated" T Tauri stars can help to shed light on atypical formation processes of stars and planets in low-mass clouds.


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© ESO, 2010.
We are grateful to the OHP night assistant staff in conducting our Key Program, and those of the OAC observatories for their support and help with the observations. We thank Luigia Santagati of INAF-Catania for the English revision of the text. This research made use of SIMBAD and VIZIER databases, operated at the CDS, Strasbourg, France. This publication uses ROSAT data. Part of this work was supported by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), the Spanish MICINN, Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación under grant AyA2008-00695 and the Comunidad Autónoma de Madrid, under PRICIT project S-2009/ESP-1496 (AstroMadrid).

Uncontrolled Keywords:All-sky survey; Molecular clouds; Chromospheric activity; Spectroscopic survey; Cassiopeia region; Stellar-systems; Mass stars; Young; Search; Sample
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Astrophysics
Sciences > Physics > Astronomy
ID Code:37824
Deposited On:23 May 2016 15:11
Last Modified:10 Dec 2018 15:05

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