Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 459, 545-556 (2006/11-4)
C2D Spitzer-IRS spectra of disks around T Tauri stars. II. PAH emission features.
GEERS V.C., AUGEREAU J.-C., PONTOPPIDAN K.M., DULLEMOND C.P., VISSER R., KESSLER-SILACCI J.E., EVANS II N.J., VAN DISHOECK E.F., BLAKE G.A., BOOGERT A.C.A., BROWN J.M., LAHUIS F. and MERIN B.
Abstract (from CDS):
We search for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) features towards young low-mass (T Tauri) stars and compare them with surveys of intermediate mass (Herbig Ae/Be) stars. The presence and strength of the PAH features are interpreted with disk radiative transfer models exploring the PAH feature dependence on the incident UV radiation, PAH abundance and disk parameters. Spitzer Space Telescope 5-35µm spectra of 54 pre-main sequence stars with disks were obtained, consisting of 38 T Tauri, 7 Herbig Ae/Be and 9 stars with unknown spectral type. Compact PAH emission is detected towards at least 8 sources of which 5 are Herbig Ae/Be stars. The 11.2µm PAH feature is detected in all of these sources, as is the 6.2µm PAH feature for the 4 sources for which short wavelength data are available. However, the 7.7 and 8.6µm features appear strongly in only 1 of these 4 sources. Based on the 11.2µm feature, PAH emission is observed towards at least 3 T Tauri stars, with 14 tentative detections, resulting in a lower limit to the PAH detection rate of 8%. The lowest mass source with PAH emission in our sample is T Cha
with a spectral type G8. All 4 sources in our sample with evidence for dust holes in their inner disk show PAH emission, increasing the feature/continuum ratio. Typical 11.2µm line intensities are an order of magnitude lower than those observed for the more massive Herbig Ae/Be stars. Measured line fluxes indicate PAH abundances that are factors of 10-100 lower than standard interstellar values. Conversely, PAH features from disks exposed to stars with Teff
≤4200K without enhanced UV are predicted to be below the current detection limit, even for high PAH abundances. Disk modeling shows that the 6.2 and 11.2µm features are the best PAH tracers for T Tauri stars, whereas the 7.7 and 8.6µm bands have low feature over continuum ratios due to the strongly rising silicate emission.
stars: pre-main sequence - planetary systems: protoplanetary disks - circumstellar matter - astrochemistry - ISM: molecules
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