A low-mass H2 component to the AU Microscopii circumstellar disk.
FRANCE K., ROBERGE A., LUPU R.E., REDFIELD S. and FELDMAN P.D.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present a determination of the molecular gas mass in the AU Microscopii circumstellar disk. Direct detection of a gas component to the AU Mic disk has proven elusive, with upper limits derived from ultraviolet absorption line and submillimeter CO emission studies. Fluorescent emission lines of H2, pumped by the O VI λ1032 resonance line through the C-X (1-1) Q(3) λ1031.87 Å transition, are detected by the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer. These lines are used to derive the H2 column density associated with the AU Mic system. The derived column density is in the range N(H2)=1.9x1017 to 2.8x1015/cm2, roughly 2 orders of magnitude lower than the upper limit inferred from absorption line studies. This range of column densities reflects the range of H2 excitation temperature consistent with the observations, T(H2)=800-2000 K, derived from the presence of emission lines excited by O VI in the absence of those excited by Lyα. Within the observational uncertainties, the data are consistent with the H2 gas residing in the disk. The inferred N(H2) range corresponds to H2-to-dust ratios of ≲(1)/(30):1 and a total M(H2)=4.0x10–4 to 5.8x10–6M⊕. We use these results to predict the intensity of the associated rovibrational emission lines of H2 at infrared wavelengths covered by ground-based instruments, HST NICMOS, and the Spitzer IRS.
Stars: Circumstellar Matter - Stars: Planetary Systems: Protoplanetary Disks - Stars: Individual: Constellation Name: AU Microscopii - Stars: Individual: Henry Draper Number: HD 197481 - Ultraviolet: Stars