The accretion rates and mechanisms of Herbig Ae/Be stars

Wichittanakom, C., Oudmaijer, R. D., Fairlamb, J. R., Mendigutia, I., Vioque, M., Ababakr, K. M. (2020). The accretion rates and mechanisms of Herbig Ae/Be stars. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 493 1 234-249 DOI: 10.1093/mnras/staa169

This work presents a spectroscopic study of 163 Herbig Ac/Be stars. Amongst these, we present new data for 30 objects. Stellar parameters such as temperature, reddening, mass, luminosity, and age are homogeneously determined. Mass accretion rates are determined from Ha emission line measurements. Our data is complemented with the X-Shooter sample from previous studies and we update results using Gain DR2 parallaxes giving a total of 78 objects with homogeneously determined stellar parameters and mass accretion rates. In addition, mass accretion rates of an additional 85 HAeBes are determined. We confirm previous findings that the mass accretion rate increases as a function of stellar mass, and the existence of a different slope for lower and higher mass stars, respectively. The mass where the slope changes is determined to be 3.98(-0.94)(+1.37) M-circle dot. We discuss this break in the context of different modes of disc accretion for low- and high-mass stars. Because of their similarities with T Tauri stars, we identify the accretion mechanism for the late-type Herbig stars with the Magnetospheric Accretion. The possibilities for the earlier-type stars are still open, we suggest the Boundary Layer accretion model may be a viable alternative. Finally, we investigated the mass accretion age relationship. Even using the superior Gaia based data, it proved hard to select a large enough sub-sample to remove the mass dependence in this relationship, Yet, it would appear that the mass accretion does decline with age as expected from basic theoretical considerations.

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