Infrared study of the η Chamaeleontis cluster and the longevity of circumstellar discs

A. Ran Lyo, Warrick A. Lawson, Eric E. Mamajek, Eric D. Feigelson, Eon Chang Sung, Lisa A. Crause

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51 Scopus citations


We have analysed JHKL observations of the stellar population of the ≈ 9 Myr-old η Chamaeleontis cluster. Using infrared (IR) colour-colour and colour-excess diagrams, we find that the fraction of stellar systems with near-IR excess emission is 0.60 ± 0.13 (2σ). This result implies considerably longer disc lifetimes than found in some recent studies of other young stellar clusters. For the classical T Tauri (CTT) and weak-lined T Tauri (WTT) star population, we also find a strong correlation between the IR excess and Hα emission. The IR excesses of these stars indicate a wide range of star-disc activity: from a CTT star showing high levels of accretion to CTT-WTT transition objects with evidence for some on-going accretion and WTT stars with weak or absent IR excesses. Of the 15 known cluster members, four stars with IR excesses Δ(AT - L) > 0.4 mag are likely experiencing ongoing accretion owing to strong or variable optical emission. The resulting accretion fraction (0.27 ± 0.13; 2σ) shows that the accretion phase, in addition to the discs themselves, can endure for at least ∼10 Myr.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)616-622
Number of pages7
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 21 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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