Article

The unusual protoplanetary disk around the T Tauri star ET Cha

03/2011;
Source: arXiv

ABSTRACT We present new continuum and line observations, along with modelling, of the
faint (6-8) Myr old T Tauri star ET Cha belonging to the eta Chamaeleontis
cluster. We have acquired HERSCHEL/PACS photometric fluxes at 70 mic and 160
mic, as well as a detection of the [OI] 63 mic fine-structure line in emission,
and derived upper limits for some other far-IR OI, CII, CO and o-H2O lines. The
HERSCHEL data is complemented by new ANDICAM B-K photometry, new HST/COS and
HST/STIS UV-observations, a non-detection of CO J=3-2 with APEX, re-analysis of
a UCLES high-resolution optical spectrum showing forbidden emission lines like
[OI] 6300A, [SII] 6731A and 6716A, and [NII] 6583A, and a compilation of
existing broad-band photometric data. We used the thermo-chemical disk code
ProDiMo and the Monte-Carlo radiative transfer code MCFOST to model the
protoplanetary disk around ET Cha. Based on these models we can determine the
disk dust mass Mdust = (2.E-8 - 5.E-8) Msun, whereas the total disk gas mass is
found to be only little constrained, Mgas = (5.E-5 - 3.E-3) Msun. In the
models, the disk extends from 0.022 AU (just outside of the co-rotation radius)
to only about 10 AU. Larger disks are found to be inconsistent with the CO
J=3-2 non-detection. The low velocity component of the [OI] 6300A emission line
is consistent with being emitted from the inner disk. The model can also
reproduce the line flux of H2 v=1-0 S(1) at 2.122 mic. An additional
high-velocity component of the [OI] 6300A emission line, however, points to the
existence of an additional jet/outflow of low velocity (40 - 65) km/s with mass
loss rate ~1.E-9 Msun/yr. In relation to our low estimations of the disk mass,
such a mass loss rate suggests a disk lifetime of only ~(0.05 - 3) Myr,
substantially shorter than the cluster age. The evolutionary state of this
unusual protoplanetary disk is discussed.

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