A deep spitzer survey of circumstellar disks in the young double cluster, h and χ persei

Ryan Cloutier, Thayne Currie, George H. Rieke, Scott J. Kenyon, Zoltan Balog, Ray Jayawardhana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


We analyze very deep Infrared Array Camera and Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer (MIPS) photometry of ∼12, 500 members of the 14 Myr old Double Cluster, h and χ Persei, building upon our earlier, shallower Spitzer Cycle 1 studies. Numerous likely members show infrared (IR) excesses at 8 μm and 24 μm, indicative of circumstellar dust. The frequency of stars with 8 μm excess is at least 2% for our entire sample, slightly lower (higher) for B/A stars (later type, lower mass stars). Optical spectroscopy also identifies gas in about 2% of systems, but with no clear trend between the presence of dust and gas. Spectral energy distribution modeling of 18 sources with detections at optical wavelengths through MIPS 24 μm reveals a diverse set of disk evolutionary states, including a high fraction of transitional disks, though similar data for all disk-bearing members would provide constraints. Using Monte Carlo simulations, we combine our results with those for other young clusters to study the global evolution of dust/gas disks. For nominal cluster ages, the e-folding times (τ0) for the frequency of warm dust and gas are 2.75 Myr and 1.75 Myr, respectively. Assuming a revised set of ages for some clusters, these timescales increase to 5.75 and 3.75 Myr, respectively, implying a significantly longer typical protoplanetary disk lifetime than previously thought. In both cases, the transitional disk duration, averaged over multiple evolutionary pathways, is 1 Myr. Finally, 24 μm excess frequencies for 4-6 M stars appear lower than for 1-2.5 M stars in other 10-30 Myr old clusters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number127
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014


  • circumstellar matter
  • open clusters and associations: individual (NGC 869, NGC 884)
  • planetary systems
  • protoplanetary disks
  • stars: formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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