NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010B-0503

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Proposal Information for 2010B-0503


PI: James W. Davidson Jr., University of Toledo, jdavid@physics.utoledo.edu
Address: Physics Department, 2801 W. Bancroft St., MS#113, Toledo, OH 43606, USA

CoI: Karen S. Bjorkman, University of Toledo
CoI: John P. Wisniewski, University of Washington
CoI: Antonio Mario Magalhaes, University of Sao Paulo
CoI: Jon E. Bjorkman, University of Toledo
CoI: Uma P. Vijh, University of Toledo

Title: A Polarimetric Study of Potential Extragalactic Protoplanetary Disk Systems

Abstract: Our current understanding of the process of planet formation indicates that exoplanets arise from the natal gas+dust disks of young pre-main-sequence stars. Statistical studies of the 440+ Galactic exoplanets identified to date suggest that the metallicity of the parent circumstellar envelope may influence the formation (or identification) of planets. This metallicity dependence motivates the study of protoplanetary disks in environments such as the LMC and SMC, which have substantially lower metallicities (Z=0.002-0.007) than that of our Galaxy (Z ~0.018). Unfortunately, identifying bona-fide protoplanetary disk systems in the SMC/LMC has proven difficult; detailed spectroscopic and photometric studies of candidate Herbig Ae/Be stars suggest most are actually main-sequence classical Be stars. We propose to continue our successful 2009B and 2008B programs of obtaining the first spectropolarimetric observations of candidate Herbig Ae/Be stars and to conduct field imaging polarimetry of high probability candidate YSOs which are considered likely to be pre-main-sequence targets, to a) provide clear evidence that these objects are not evolved stars; and b) perform statistical comparisons of these SMC/LMC YSOs compared to their Galactic counterparts.


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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