The taurus boundary of stellar/substellar (TBOSS) survey: I. Far-IR disk emission measured with herschel

J. Bulger, Jennifer Patience, K. Ward-Duong, C. Pinte, H. Bouy, F. Ménard, J. L. Monin

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21 Scopus citations


With the PACS instrument on Herschel, 134 low mass members of the Taurus star-forming region spanning the M4-L0 spectral type range and covering the transition from low mass stars to brown dwarfs were observed. Combining the new Herschel results with other Herschel programs, a total of 150 of the 154 M4-L0 Taurus members have observations, and we have added an additional 3 targets from Spitzer to form the 153-object TBOSS (Taurus Boundary of Stellar/Substellar) sample, a 99% complete study. Among the 150 targets, 70 μm flux densities were measured for 7 of the 7 Class I objects, 48 of the 67 Class II objects, and 3 of the 76 Class III objects. For the detected Class II objects, the median 70 μm flux density level declines with spectral type; however, the distribution of excess relative to central object flux density does not change across the stellar/substellar boundary in the M4-L0 range. Connecting the 70 μm TBOSS values with the results from K0-M3 Class II members results in the first comprehensive census of far-IR emission across the full mass spectrum of the stellar and substellar population of a star-forming region, and the median flux density declines with spectral type in a trend analogous to the flux density decline expected for the central objects. Spectral energy distributions (SEDs) were constructed for all TBOSS targets covering the optical to far-IR range and extending to the submm/mm for a subset of sources with longer wavelength data. Based on an initial exploration of the impact of different physical parameters on the Herschel flux densities, geometrical factors such as inclination and structural parameters such as scale height and flaring have the largest influence on the flux densities in the PACS bands. From the 24 μm to 70 μm spectral index of the SEDs, 5 new candidate transition disks were identified. Considering the previously known and new candidate transition disks, the spectral indices over longer wavelengths (≥70 μm) are not distinct from those of the full Class II population, suggesting that the outer regions of the transition disks are similar to Class II disks. The steep 24 μm to 70 μm slope for a subset of 8 TBOSS targets may be an indication of truncated disks in these systems, however additional measurements are required to establish the outer radii of these disks conclusively. From existing high angular resolution companion search observations, two examples of mixed pair systems that include secondaries with disks were measured in the Herschel data. Finally, comparing the TBOSS results with a Herschel study of Ophiuchus brown dwarfs reveals a lower fraction of disks around the Taurus substellar population with flux densities comparable to the Ophiuchus disks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA29
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014


  • Brown dwarfs
  • Protoplanetary disks
  • Stars: pre-main sequence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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