A resolved molecular gas disk around the nearby A star 49 Ceti.
HUGHES A.M., WILNER D.J., KAMP I. and HOGERHEIJDE M.R.
Abstract (from CDS):
The A star 49 Ceti, at a distance of 61 pc, is unusual in retaining a substantial quantity of molecular gas while exhibiting dust properties similar to those of a debris disk. We present resolved observations of the disk around 49 Ceti from the Submillimeter Array in the J=2-1 rotational transition of CO with a resolution of 1.0"x1.2". The observed emission reveals an extended rotating structure viewed approximately edge-on and clear of detectable CO emission out to a distance of ∼90 AU from the star. No 1.3 mm continuum emission is detected at a 3 σ sensitivity of 2.1 mJy/beam. Models of disk structure and chemistry indicate that the inner disk is devoid of molecular gas, while the outer gas disk between 40 and 200 AU from the star is dominated by photochemistry from stellar and interstellar radiation. We determine parameters for a model that reproduces the basic features of the spatially resolved CO J=2-1 emission, the spectral energy distribution, and the unresolved CO J=3-2 spectrum. We investigate variations in disk chemistry and observable properties for a range of structural parameters. The star 49 Ceti appears to be a rare example of a system in a late stage of transition between a gas-rich protoplanetary disk and a tenuous, virtually gas-free debris disk.