What can we Learn from Disk Frequency in Young Clusters?

Paula S. Teixeira, Sofia R. Fernandes, João F. Alves, José C. Correia, Charles Lada, Elizabeth Lada, Filipe D. Santos

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The origin and evolution of circumstellar disks is one of the main scientific quests intimately related with planetary formation since disks are known to be planetary nurseries. A study of statiscally significant young stellar populations in differing evolutionary stages and astrophysical environments can provide fundamental tests for theories of disk and planet formation. We are presently conducting a systematic broadband infrared wavelength study of ten young clusters of different ages in order to compare their circumstellar disk frequency. In this talk we report our results of JHK photometry of two nearby clusters in our sample L1654 and NGC 2547. Having a considerable age difference (1-5 and 14 Myr respectively) it is expected that NGC 2547 shows a smaller frequency of disks according to present theories of disk dissipation and planetary formation.


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