X-shooting Herbig Ae/Be stars : accretion probed by near-infrared He I emission
van den Ancker, M.E.
de Wit, W.J.
The Herbig Ae/Be stars are intermediate mass pre-main sequence stars that bridge the gap between the low mass T Tauri stars and the Massive Young Stellar Objects. In this mass range, the acting star forming mechanism switches from magnetically controlled accretion to an as yet unknown mechanism, but which is likely to be direct disk accretion onto the star. We observed a large sample of Herbig Ae/Be stars with X-shooter to address this issue from a multi-wavelength perspective. It is the largest such study to date, not only because of the number of objects involved, but also because of the large wavelength coverage from the blue to the near-infrared. This allows many accretion diagnostics to be studied simultaneously. By correlating the various properties with mass, temperature and age, we aim to determine where and whether the magnetically controlled mass accretion mechanism halts and the proposed direct disk accretion takes over. Here, we will give an overview of the background, present some observations and discuss our initial results. We will introduce a new accretion diagnostic for the research of Herbig Ae/Be stars, the He I 1.083 mu m line.