Astrophys. J., 846, 6-6 (2017/September-1)
Signatures of hot molecular hydrogen absorption from protoplanetary disks. I. Non-thermal populations.
HOADLEY K., FRANCE K., ARULANANTHAM N., LOYD R.O.P. and KRUCZEK N.
Abstract (from CDS):
The environment around protoplanetary disks (PPDs) regulates processes that drive the chemical and structural evolution of circumstellar material. We perform a detailed empirical survey of warm molecular hydrogen (H2) absorption observed against H I-Lyα (Lyα: λ1215.67) emission profiles for 22 PPDs, using archival Hubble Space Telescope ultraviolet (UV) spectra to identify H2 absorption signatures and quantify the column densities of H2 ground states in each sightline. We compare thermal equilibrium models of H2 to the observed H2 rovibrational level distributions. We find that, for the majority of targets, there is a clear deviation in high-energy states (Texc >= 20,000 K) away from thermal equilibrium populations (T(H2) >= 3500 K). We create a metric to estimate the total column density of non-thermal H2 (N(H2)nLTE) and find that the total column densities of thermal (N(H2)) and N(H2)nLTE correlate for transition disks and targets with detectable C IV-pumped H2 fluorescence. We compare N(H2) and N(H2)nLTE to circumstellar observables and find that N(H2)nLTE correlates with X-ray and far-UV luminosities, but no correlations are observed with the luminosities of discrete emission features (e.g., Lyα, C IV). Additionally, N(H2) and N(H2)nLTE are too low to account for the H2 fluorescence observed in PPDs, so we speculate that this H2 may instead be associated with a diffuse, hot, atomic halo surrounding the planet-forming disk. We create a simple photon-pumping model for each target to test this hypothesis and find that Lyα efficiently pumps H2 levels with Texc >= 10,000 K out of thermal equilibrium.
© 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
line: profiles - molecular processes - protoplanetary disks - stars: variables: T Tauri, Herbig Ae/Be - techniques: spectroscopic - ultraviolet: general - ultraviolet: general
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