Gas emission from debris disks around A and F stars.
ZAGOROVSKY K., BRANDEKER A. and WU Y.
Abstract (from CDS):
Gas has been detected in a number of debris disk systems. This gas may have arisen from grain sublimation or grain photodesorption. It interacts with the surrounding dust grains through a number of charge and heat exchanges. Studying the chemical composition and physical state of this gas can therefore reveal much about the dust component in these debris disks. We have produced a new code, ONTARIO, to address gas emission from dusty gas-poor disks around A-F stars. This code computes the gas ionization and thermal balance self-consistently, with particular care taken of heating/cooling mechanisms. Line emission spectra are then produced for each species (up to zinc) by statistical equilibrium calculations of the atomic/ionic energy levels. For parameters that resemble the observed β Pictoris gas disk, we find that the gas is primarily heated by photoelectric emission from dust grains, and primarily cooled through the C II 157.7 µm line emission. The gas can be heated to a temperature that is warmer than that of the dust and may in some cases reach temperature for thermal escape. The dominant cooling line, C II 157.7 µm, should be detectable by Herschel in these disks, while the O I 63.2 µm line will be too faint. We also study the dependence of the cooling line fluxes on a variety of disk parameters, in light of the much improved sensitivity to thermal line emission in the mid/far-infrared and at submillimeter wavelengths provided by, in particular, Herschel, SOFIA, and ALMA. These new instruments will yield much new information about dusty debris disks.