NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009A-0280

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Proposal Information for 2009A-0280


PI: Matthew Troutman, Clemson University, mtroutm@clemson.edu
Address: Physics Department, 118 Kinard Laboratory, Clemson, SC 29634-0978, United States

CoI: Sean Brittain, Clemson University
CoI: Joan Najita, National Optical Astronomy Observatory

Title: Using Spectro-Astrometry to Trace Gas in the Inner Disk of Young Intermediate-mass Stars

Abstract: We propose to use high-resolution spectroscopy to measure the velocity-resolved spatial structure in fundamental CO emission in the inner disks of Herbig Ae/Be stars. As CO is a tracer of the gas in the inner disk, we will constrain the spatial distribution of the circumstellar gas, which comprises the majority of disk material and is central to circularizing the orbits of terrestrial planets. Thus, studying circumstellar gas is key to our understanding of planet formation and the evolution of circumstellar disks. This study takes advantage of the high velocity resolution afforded by PHOENIX to determine where the CO emitting gas arises, independent of assumptions about the disk velocity field. This provides an independent measurement of \sqrtM_\starsin(i), and assuming a simple disk geometry, constrains the inclination of the inner disk as well. We will study the distribution of gas in different disk environments (e.g. flared versus flat disks), providing information about the relationship between circumstellar gas and dust in the inner disk.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009A-0280

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