Research: Classical T Tauri Stars with XShooter: Physical Conditions of the Emitting Gas, Mass Accretion, and More
Classical T Tauri stars (CTTS) are low-mass pre-main sequence objects, which are surrounded by an accretion disk. In the current model the accretion takes place along accretion funnels. This explains the main features we observe from CTTS, but the physical conditions in the funnel and its structure in combination with the disk and winds are still uncertain. This phase of stellar evolution also plays an important role for potential planets around the star, as the initial conditions for planet formation in terms of available mass, dust composition, and total angular momentum are set here. In my research I plan to determine the physical conditions in the accretion funnel in terms of temperature and density, help constrain their geometry, learn something about the dust in the stellar environment and relate the different tracers of mass accretion and winds with one another.