Astron. J., 159, 168-168 (2020/April-0)
Probing uv-sensitive pathways for CN and HCN formation in protoplanetary disks with the Hubble Space Telescope.
ARULANANTHAM N., FRANCE K., CAZZOLETTI P., MIOTELLO A., MANARA C.F., SCHNEIDER P.C., HOADLEY K., VAN DISHOECK E.F. and GUNTHER H.M.
Abstract (from CDS):
The UV radiation field is a critical regulator of gas-phase chemistry in surface layers of disks around young stars. In an effort to understand the relationship between photocatalyzing UV radiation fields and gas emission observed at infrared and submillimeter wavelengths, we present an analysis of new and archival Hubble Space Telescope (HST), Spitzer, ALMA, IRAM, and SMA data for five targets in the Lupus cloud complex and 14 systems in Taurus-Auriga. The HST spectra were used to measure Lyα and far-UV (FUV) continuum fluxes reaching the disk surface, which are responsible for dissociating relevant molecular species (e.g., HCN, N2). Semi-forbidden C II] λ2325 and UV-fluorescent H2 emission were also measured to constrain inner disk populations of C+ and vibrationally excited H2. We find a significant positive correlation between 14 µm HCN emission and fluxes from the FUV continuum and C II] λ2325, consistent with model predictions requiring N2 photodissociation and carbon ionization to trigger the main CN/HCN formation pathways. We also report significant negative correlations between submillimeter CN emission and both C II] and FUV continuum fluxes, implying that CN is also more readily dissociated in disks with stronger FUV irradiation. No clear relationships are detected between either CN or HCN and Lyα or UV-H2 emission. This is attributed to the spatial stratification of the various molecular species, which span several vertical layers and radii across the inner and outer disk. We expect that future observations with the James Webb Space Telescope will build on this work by enabling more sensitive IR surveys than were possible with Spitzer.
© 2020. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Protoplanetary disks - Ultraviolet astronomy - Young stellar objects - Molecular spectroscopy - Astrochemistry
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