Detection of [Ne II] Emission from Young Circumstellar Disks

The Astrophysical Journal (Impact Factor: 6.28). 12/2008; 663(1):383. DOI: 10.1086/518535

ABSTRACT We report the detection of [Ne II] emission at 12.81 μm in four out of the six optically thick dust disks observed as part of the FEPS Spitzer Legacy program. In addition, we detect a H I (7-6) emission line at 12.37 μm from the source RX J1852.3-3700. Detections of [Ne II] lines are favored by low mid-infrared excess emission. Both stellar X-rays and extreme ultraviolet (EUV) photons can sufficiently ionize the disk surface to reproduce the observed line fluxes, suggesting that emission from Ne+ originates in the hot disk atmosphere. On the other hand, the H I (7-6) line is not associated with the gas in the disk surface, and magnetospheric accretion flows can account for at most ~30% of the observed flux. We conclude that accretion shock regions and/or the stellar corona could contribute to most of the H I (7-6) emission. Finally, we discuss the observations necessary to identify whether stellar X-rays or EUV photons are the dominant ionization mechanism for Ne atoms. Because the observed [Ne II] emission probes very small amounts of gas in the disk surface (~10-6 MJ) we suggest using this gas line to determine the presence or absence of gas in more evolved circumstellar disks.

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    ABSTRACT: Protoplanetary discs are a natural consequence of the star formation process and as such are ubiquitous around low-mass stars. They are fundamental to planet formation as they hold the reservoir of material from which planets form. Their evolution and final dispersal and the timescales that regulate these process are therefore of particular interest. In this contribution I will review the observational evidence for the dispersal of discs being dominated by two timescales and for the final dispersal to occur quickly and from the inside out. I will discuss the current theoretical models, including X-ray photoevaporation, showing that the latter provides a natural explanation to the observed behaviour and review supporting and contrasting evidence. I will finally introduce a new mechanism based on the interaction between planet formation and photoevaporation that may explain a particular class of transition discs with large inner holes and high accretion rates that are problematic for photoevaporation models and planet formation models alone.
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    ABSTRACT: We present the first observational evidence for disk photoevaporation driven by the central star and discuss the implications of star-driven photoevaporation on the architecture of planetary systems.
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    ABSTRACT: Aims: We present mid-infrared observations and photometry of the circumstellar disks around PDS 66 and CRBR 2422.8-3423, obtained with VISIR/VLT in the N band and for the latter also in the Q band. Our aim is to resolve the inner regions of these protoplanetary disks, which carry potential signatures of intermediate or later stages of disk evolution and ongoing planet formation. Methods: We determined the radial brightness profiles of our target objects and the corresponding PSF reference that were observed before and after our target objects. Background standard deviations, the standard errors, and the seeing variations during the observations were considered. Adopting a simple radiative transfer model based on parameters taken from previous studies, we derived constraints on the inner-disk hole radius of the dust disk. Results: Neither of the circumstellar disks around our science targets are spatially resolved in our observations. However, we are able to constrain the inner-disk hole radius to <15.0-0.5+0.5 AU and <10.5-1.0+0.5 AU for PDS 66 and CRBR 2422.8-3423, respectively. The photometry we performed yields N-band flux densities of 599 ± 8 mJy for PDS 66 and 130 ± 14 mJy for CRBR 2422.8-3423, as well as a Q-band flux density of 858 ± 109 mJy for CRBR 2422.8-3423.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 04/2013; · 4.48 Impact Factor

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