PI: Colette Salyk, The University of Texas at Austin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: McDonald Observatory, 1 University Station, C1402, Austin, TX 78712-0259, USA
CoI: Klaus Pontoppidan, Space Telescope Science Institute
CoI: Geoffrey A. Blake, California Institute of Technology
CoI: Ke Zhang, California Institute of Technology
Title: Observations of water vapor in planet-forming regions
Abstract: We propose to obtain high resolution spectra of water gas-phase lines in the N-band with Michelle toward several protoplanetary disks around young stars. Spitzer-IRS spectroscopy has shown that protoplanetary disks around low-mass young stars are generally blanketed in the mid-IR with strong molecular emission lines, but the low spectral resolution results in unresolved and blended features, making their interpretation difficult. In January 2011, we successfully detected resolved water emission lines in 2 disks with Michelle. We propose here to expand on these observations by observing many additional transitions in a strong emission source, as well as by searching for water emission in several additional sources. With these observations, combined with our sophisticated modeling routines, we will investigate the presence, condensation and transport of water in protoplanetary disks - processes with fundamental implications for the formation of planets.