Observations of T Tauri disks at sub-au radii: Implications for magnetospheric accretion and planet formation

J. A. Eisner, L. A. Hillenbrand, R. J. White, R. L. Akeson, A. I. Sargent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


We determine inner disk sizes and temperatures for four solar-type (1-2 M) classical T Tauri stars, AS 207A, V2508 Oph, AS 205A, and PX Vul, using 2.2 μm observations from the Keck Interferometer. Nearly contemporaneous near-IR adaptive optics imaging photometry, optical photometry, and high-dispersion optical spectroscopy are used to distinguish contributions from the inner disks and central stars in the interferometric observations. In addition, the spectroscopic and photometric data provide estimates of stellar properties, mass accretion rates, and disk corotation radii. We model our interferometric and photometric data in the context of geometrically flat accretion disk models with inner holes, and flared disks with puffed-up inner walls. Models incorporating puffed-up inner disk walls generally provide better fits to the data, similar to previous results for higher mass Herbig Ae stars. Our measured inner disk sizes are larger than disk truncation radii predicted by magnetospheric accretion models, with larger discrepancies for sources with higher mass accretion rates. We suggest that our measured sizes correspond to dust sublimation radii, and that optically thin gaseous material may extend farther inward to the magnetospheric truncation radii. Finally, our inner disk measurements constrain the location of terrestrial planet formation as well as potential mechanisms for halting giant planet migration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)952-966
Number of pages15
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - Apr 20 2005


  • Circumstellar matter
  • Stars: individual (AS 205, AS 207, PX Vulpeculae, V2508 Ophiuchi)
  • Stars: pre-main-sequence
  • Techniques: high angular resolution
  • Techniques: interferometric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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