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2011ApJ...733...84P - Astrophys. J., 733, 84 (2011/June-1)

The structure and dynamics of molecular gas in planet-forming zones: a CRIRES spectro-astrometric survey.


Abstract (from CDS):

We present a spectro-astrometric survey of molecular gas in the inner regions of 16 protoplanetary disks using CRIRES, the high-resolution infrared imaging spectrometer on the Very Large Telescope. Spectro-astrometry with CRIRES measures the spatial extent of line emission to sub-milliarcsecond precision, or <0.2 AU at the distance of the observed targets. The sample consists of gas-rich disks surrounding stars with spectral types ranging from K to A. The properties of the spectro-astrometric signals divide the sources into two distinct phenomenological classes: one that shows clear Keplerian astrometric spectra and one in which the astrometric signatures are dominated by gas with strong non-Keplerian (radial) motions. Similarly to the near-infrared continuum emission, as determined by interferometry, we find that the size of the CO line emitting region in the Keplerian sources obeys a size-luminosity relation as RCO∝L 0.5*. The non-Keplerian spectro-astrometric signatures are likely indicative of the presence of wide-angle disk winds. The central feature of the winds is a strong sub-Keplerian velocity field due to conservation of angular momentum as the wind pressure drives the gas outward. We construct a parameterized two-dimensional disk+wind model that reproduces the observed characteristics of the observed CO spectra and astrometry. The modeled winds indicate mass-loss rates of ≳ 10–10 to 10–8 M/yr. We suggest a unifying model in which all disks have slow molecular winds, but where the magnitude of the mass-loss rate determines the degree to which the mid-infrared molecular lines are dominated by the wind relative to the Keplerian disk surface.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): ISM: molecules - line: profiles - protoplanetary disks - techniques: imaging spectroscopy

Simbad objects: 27

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