NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009B-0318

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Proposal Information for 2009B-0318


PI: Marc Kassis, Keck Observatory, mkassis@keck.hawaii.edu
Address: 65-1120 Mamalahoa Hwy., Kamuela, HI 96743, USA

CoI: Ralph Shuping, Univ. Space Research Assoc. NASA ARC
CoI: Mark Morris, Univ. of California, Los Angeles
CoI: Nathan Smith, Univ. of California, Berkeley
CoI: John Bally, CASA, CU Boulder

Title: Early evolution of photoevaporating protoplanetary disks: mid-infrared spectra of the Orion Nebula proplyds

Abstract: We plan to acquire low-resolution spectra at mid-infrared wavelengths of Orion Nebula protoplanetary disk systems using a highly sensitive spectrograph at the Gemini Observatory. Our goal is to determine the grain properties of proto-planetary disks associated with stars having ages <2 Myr. The proposed observations include sampling the emission from proto-planetary disks that we suspect harbor disks with relatively larger grains than the disks very near the Trapezium that we have previously studied at mid-infrared wavelengths. Observed differences in the grain properties will enable us to investigate early critical phases in the development of these disks. To determine the grain properties, low resolution mid-infrared spectra will be used to detect the Si-O stretch band of silicates at 9.7 microns, which may be modeled to determine basic characteristics of the silicate grains including shape, typical size, and crystallinity. These observations will enable us to constrain current grain and disk models for photo-evaporating disks at a range of radii from an external UV source and further our investigations of proto-planetary disks in Orion.


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



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