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Title: ORGANIC MOLECULES AND WATER IN THE INNER DISKS OF T TAURI STARS

Abstract

We report high signal-to-noise Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph spectra of a sample of 11 classical T Tauri stars. Molecular emission from rotational transitions of H{sub 2}O and OH and rovibrational bands of simple organic molecules (CO{sub 2}, HCN, C{sub 2}H{sub 2}) is common among the sources in the sample. The emission shows a range in both flux and line-to-continuum ratio for each molecule and in the flux ratios of different molecular species. The gas temperatures (200-800 K) and emitting areas we derive are consistent with the emission originating in a warm disk atmosphere in the inner planet formation region at radii <2 AU. The H{sub 2}O emission appears to form under a limited range of excitation conditions, as demonstrated by the similarity in relative strengths of H{sub 2}O features from star to star and the narrow range in derived temperature and column density. Emission from highly excited rotational levels of OH is present in all stars; the OH emission flux increases with the stellar accretion rate, and the OH/H{sub 2}O flux ratio shows a relatively small scatter. We interpret these results as evidence for OH production via FUV photodissociation of H{sub 2}O in the disk surface layers. No obvious explanation ismore » found for the observed range in the relative emission strengths of different organic molecules or in their strength with respect to water. We put forward the possibility that these variations reflect a diversity in organic abundances due to star-to-star differences in the C/O ratio of the inner disk gas. Stars with the largest HCN/H{sub 2}O flux ratios in our sample have the largest disk masses. While larger samples are required to confirm this, we speculate that such a trend could result if higher mass disks are more efficient at planetesimal formation and sequestration of water in the outer disk, leading to enhanced C/O ratios and abundances of organic molecules in the inner disk. A comparison of our derived HCN-to-H{sub 2}O column density ratio to comets, hot cores, and outer T Tauri star disks suggests that the inner disks are chemically active.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Naval Research Laboratory, Code 7211, Washington, DC 20375 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21576733
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Astrophysical Journal
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 733; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/733/2/102; Journal ID: ISSN 0004-637X
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ACCRETION DISKS; CARBON DIOXIDE; DENSITY; DISSOCIATION; EMISSION; HYDROCYANIC ACID; MASS; MOLECULES; T TAURI STARS; VARIATIONS; WATER; BINARY STARS; CARBON COMPOUNDS; CARBON OXIDES; CHALCOGENIDES; ERUPTIVE VARIABLE STARS; HYDROGEN COMPOUNDS; INORGANIC ACIDS; INORGANIC COMPOUNDS; OXIDES; OXYGEN COMPOUNDS; PHYSICAL PROPERTIES; STARS; VARIABLE STARS

Citation Formats

Carr, John S, and Najita, Joan R., E-mail: carr@nrl.navy.mil, E-mail: najita@noao.edu. ORGANIC MOLECULES AND WATER IN THE INNER DISKS OF T TAURI STARS. United States: N. p., 2011. Web. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/733/2/102.
Carr, John S, & Najita, Joan R., E-mail: carr@nrl.navy.mil, E-mail: najita@noao.edu. ORGANIC MOLECULES AND WATER IN THE INNER DISKS OF T TAURI STARS. United States. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/733/2/102
Carr, John S, and Najita, Joan R., E-mail: carr@nrl.navy.mil, E-mail: najita@noao.edu. 2011. "ORGANIC MOLECULES AND WATER IN THE INNER DISKS OF T TAURI STARS". United States. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/733/2/102.
@article{osti_21576733,
title = {ORGANIC MOLECULES AND WATER IN THE INNER DISKS OF T TAURI STARS},
author = {Carr, John S and Najita, Joan R., E-mail: carr@nrl.navy.mil, E-mail: najita@noao.edu},
abstractNote = {We report high signal-to-noise Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph spectra of a sample of 11 classical T Tauri stars. Molecular emission from rotational transitions of H{sub 2}O and OH and rovibrational bands of simple organic molecules (CO{sub 2}, HCN, C{sub 2}H{sub 2}) is common among the sources in the sample. The emission shows a range in both flux and line-to-continuum ratio for each molecule and in the flux ratios of different molecular species. The gas temperatures (200-800 K) and emitting areas we derive are consistent with the emission originating in a warm disk atmosphere in the inner planet formation region at radii <2 AU. The H{sub 2}O emission appears to form under a limited range of excitation conditions, as demonstrated by the similarity in relative strengths of H{sub 2}O features from star to star and the narrow range in derived temperature and column density. Emission from highly excited rotational levels of OH is present in all stars; the OH emission flux increases with the stellar accretion rate, and the OH/H{sub 2}O flux ratio shows a relatively small scatter. We interpret these results as evidence for OH production via FUV photodissociation of H{sub 2}O in the disk surface layers. No obvious explanation is found for the observed range in the relative emission strengths of different organic molecules or in their strength with respect to water. We put forward the possibility that these variations reflect a diversity in organic abundances due to star-to-star differences in the C/O ratio of the inner disk gas. Stars with the largest HCN/H{sub 2}O flux ratios in our sample have the largest disk masses. While larger samples are required to confirm this, we speculate that such a trend could result if higher mass disks are more efficient at planetesimal formation and sequestration of water in the outer disk, leading to enhanced C/O ratios and abundances of organic molecules in the inner disk. A comparison of our derived HCN-to-H{sub 2}O column density ratio to comets, hot cores, and outer T Tauri star disks suggests that the inner disks are chemically active.},
doi = {10.1088/0004-637X/733/2/102},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/21576733}, journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
issn = {0004-637X},
number = 2,
volume = 733,
place = {United States},
year = {2011},
month = {6}
}