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Disk accretion onto magnetic T Tauri stars
Koenigl, Arieh
AA(Chicago, University, IL)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 2 - Letters (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 370, March 20, 1991, p. L39-L43. Research supported by Rockwell International Corp. and Illinois Space Institute. (ApJL Homepage)
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NASA/STI Keywords:
Accretion Disks, Magnetic Stars, T Tauri Stars, Computational Astrophysics, Stellar Magnetic Fields, Stellar Mass Accretion, Stellar Models, Ultraviolet Radiation
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The dynamical and radiative consequences of disk accretion onto magnetic T Tauri stars (TTS) are examined using the Ghosh and Lamb model. It is shown that a prolonged disk accretion phase is compatible with the low rotation rates measured in these stars if they possess a kilogauss strength field that disrupts the disk at a distance of a few stellar radii from the center. It is estimated that a steady state in which the net torque exerted on the star is zero can be attained on a time scale that is shorter than the age of the youngest visible TTS. Although the disk does not develop an ordinary shear boundary layer in this case, one can account for the observed UV excess and Balmer emission in terms of the shocks that form at the bottom of the high-latitude magnetic accretion columns on the stellar surface. This picture also provides a natural explanation of some of the puzzling variability properties of stars like DF Tau and RY Lup. YY Ori stars are interpreted as magnetic TTS in which the observer's line of sight is roughly parallel to an accretion column.

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