NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2013B-0204

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Proposal Information for 2013B-0204


PI: Klaus Pontoppidan, Space Telescope Science Institute, pontoppi@stsci.edu
Address: -, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, Maryland 21218, United States

CoI: Andrea Banzatti, ETH Zurich
CoI: Michael Meyer, ETH Zurich
CoI: John Lacy, UT Austin
CoI: Matt Richter, UC Davis

Title: Using TEXES to find evidence for large scale migration of icy bodies in protoplanetary disks

Abstract: We propose to use TEXES to measure the strengths, and profiles, of weak optically-thin water lines near 11 (micron) toward DR Tau, a bright disk known to have strong mid-infrared rotational lines from water. This disk is typical for the class of water-rich disks observed by Spitzer. Measurements of weak, optically thin, lines have the power to strongly constrain the column density, and by comparison with high resolution CO ro-vibrational lines and radiative transfer models, the local relative water abundance. Existing Spitzer spectra are insufficient to robustly detect these weak features among a forest of optically thick lines, leading to model fits that are degenerate in column density and temperature. If the TEXES spectra confirm suggested high column densities (> 10^19 \rm cm^-2) static chemical models fail in favor of strong enrichment of water vapor by radial inwards transport of icy bodies. This would a) confirm a key aspect of planet formation theory that highlights the importance of the ice-line; b) suggest a volatile-rich environment in regions of terrestrial planet formation; and c) possibly provide a new tool to study disk evolution, as this wet inner disk phase is expected to be short-lived.


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