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  1. Abstract

    The dominant form of oxygen in cold molecular clouds is gas-phase carbon monoxide (CO) and ice-phase water (H2O). Yet, in planet-forming disks around young stars, gas-phase CO and H2O are less abundant relative to their interstellar medium values, and no other major oxygen-carrying molecules have been detected. Some astrochemical models predict that gas-phase molecular oxygen (O2) should be a major carrier of volatile oxygen in disks. We report a deep search for emission from the isotopologue16O18O (NJ= 21− 01line at 233.946 GHz) in the nearby protoplanetary disk around TW Hya. We used imaging techniques and matched filtering to search for weak emission but do not detect16O18O. Based on our results, we calculate upper limits on the gas-phase O2abundance in TW Hya of (6.4–70) × 10−7relative to H, which is 2–3 orders of magnitude below solar oxygen abundance. We conclude that gas-phase O2is not a major oxygen carrier in TW Hya. Two other potential oxygen-carrying molecules, SO and SO2, were covered in our observations, which we also do not detect. Additionally, we report a serendipitous detection of the C15NNJ= 25/2− 13/2hyperfine transitions,F= 3 − 2 andF= 2 − 1, at 219.9 GHz, which we found via matched filtering and confirm through imaging.

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  2. Abstract

    The Orion Nebula Cluster (ONC) hosts protoplanetary disks experiencing external photoevaporation by the cluster’s intense UV field. These “proplyds” are comprised of a disk surrounded by an ionization front. We present ALMA Band 3 (3.1 mm) continuum observations of 12 proplyds. Thermal emission from the dust disks and free–free emission from the ionization fronts are both detected, and the high-resolution (0.″057) of the observations allows us to spatially isolate these two components. The morphology is unique compared to images at shorter (sub)millimeter wavelengths, which only detect the disks, and images at longer centimeter wavelengths, which only detect the ionization fronts. The disks are small (rd= 6.4–38 au), likely due to truncation by ongoing photoevaporation. They have low spectral indices (α≲ 2.1) measured between Bands 7 and 3, suggesting the dust emission is optically thick. They harbor tens of Earth masses of dust as computed from the millimeter flux using the standard method although their true masses may be larger due to the high optical depth. We derive their photoevaporative mass-loss rates in two ways: first, by invoking ionization equilibrium and second, by using the brightness of the free–free emission to compute the density of the outflow. We find decent agreement between these measurements andṀ= 0.6–18.4 × 10−7Myr−1. The photoevaporation timescales are generally shorter than the ∼1 Myr age of the ONC, underscoring the known “proplyd lifetime problem.” Disk masses that are underestimated due to being optically thick remains one explanation to ease this discrepancy.

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  3. Abstract

    We present MIRI Medium-resolution Spectrograph observations of the large, multi-gapped protoplanetary disk around the T Tauri star AS 209. The observations reveal hundreds of water vapor lines from 4.9–25.5μm toward the inner ∼1 au in the disk, including the first detection of rovibrational water emission in this disk. The spectrum is dominated by hot (∼800 K) water vapor and OH gas, with only marginal detections of CO2, HCN, and a possible colder water vapor component. Using slab models with a detailed treatment of opacities and line overlap, we retrieve the column density, emitting area, and excitation temperature of water vapor and OH, and provide upper limits for the observable mass of other molecules. Compared to MIRI spectra of other T Tauri disks, the inner disk of AS 209 does not appear to be atypically depleted in CO2nor HCN. Based on Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph observations, we further find evidence for molecular emission variability over a 10 yr baseline. Water, OH, and CO2line luminosities have decreased by factors of 2–4 in the new MIRI epoch, yet there are minimal continuum emission variations. The origin of this variability is yet to be understood.

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  4. Abstract

    Theoretical models and observations suggest that the abundances of molecular ions in protoplanetary disks should be highly sensitive to the variable ionization conditions set by the young central star. We present a search for temporal flux variability of HCO+J= 1–0, which was observed as a part of the Molecules with Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) at Planet-forming Scales ALMA Large Program. We split out and imaged the line and continuum data for each individual day the five sources were observed (HD 163296, AS 209, GM Aur, MWC 480, and IM Lup, with between three and six unique visits per source). Significant enhancement (>3σ) was not observed, but we find variations in the spectral profiles in all five disks. Variations in AS 209, GM Aur, and HD 163296 are tentatively attributed to variations in HCO+flux, while variations in IM Lup and MWC 480 are most likely introduced by differences in theuvcoverage, which impact the amount of recovered flux during imaging. The tentative detections and low degree of variability are consistent with expectations of X-ray flare-driven HCO+variability, which requires relatively large flares to enhance the HCO+rotational emission at significant (>20%) levels. These findings also demonstrate the need for dedicated monitoring campaigns with high signal-to-noise ratios to fully characterize X-ray flare-driven chemistry.

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  5. Abstract

    We study the kinematics of the AS 209 disk using theJ= 2–1 transitions of12CO,13CO, and C18O. We derive the radial, azimuthal, and vertical velocity of the gas, taking into account the lowered emission surface near the annular gap at ≃1.″7 (200 au) within which a candidate circumplanetary-disk-hosting planet has been reported previously. In12CO and13CO, we find a coherent upward flow arising from the gap. The upward gas flow is as fast as 150 m s−1in the regions traced by12CO emission, which corresponds to about 50% of the local sound speed or 6% of the local Keplerian speed. Such an upward gas flow is difficult to reconcile with an embedded planet alone. Instead, we propose that magnetically driven winds via ambipolar diffusion are triggered by the low gas density within the planet-carved gap, dominating the kinematics of the gap region. We estimate the ambipolar Elsässer number, Am, using the HCO+column density as a proxy for ion density and find that Am is ∼0.1 at the radial location of the upward flow. This value is broadly consistent with the value at which numerical simulations find that ambipolar diffusion drives strong winds. We hypothesize that the activation of magnetically driven winds in a planet-carved gap can control the growth of the embedded planet. We provide a scaling relationship that describes the wind-regulated terminal mass: adopting parameters relevant to 100 au from a solar-mass star, we find that the wind-regulated terminal mass is about one Jupiter mass, which may help explain the dearth of directly imaged super-Jovian-mass planets.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
  6. Abstract

    Deuterium fractionation provides a window into the thermal history of volatiles in the solar system and protoplanetary disks. While evidence of active molecular deuteration has been observed toward a handful of disks, it remains unclear whether this chemistry affects the composition of forming planetesimals due to limited observational constraints on the radial and vertical distribution of deuterated molecules. To shed light on this question, we introduce new Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array observations of DCO+and DCNJ= 2–1 at an angular resolution of 0.″5 (30 au) and combine them with archival data of higher energy transitions toward the protoplanetary disk around TW Hya. We carry out a radial excitation analysis assuming both LTE and non-LTE to localize the physical conditions traced by DCO+and DCN emission in the disk, thus assessing deuterium fractionation efficiencies and pathways at different disk locations. We find similar disk-averaged column densities of 1.9 × 1012and 9.8 × 1011cm−2for DCO+and DCN, with typical kinetic temperatures for both molecules of 20–30 K, indicating a common origin near the comet- and planet-forming midplane. The observed DCO+/DCN abundance ratio, combined with recent modeling results, provide tentative evidence of a gas-phase C/O enhancement within <40 au. Observations of DCO+and DCN in other disks, as well as HCN and HCO+, will be necessary to place the trends exhibited by TW Hya in context, and fully constrain the main deuteration mechanisms in disks.

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  7. Abstract

    Gas mass is a fundamental quantity of protoplanetary disks that directly relates to their ability to form planets. Because we are unable to observe the bulk H2content of disks directly, we rely on indirect tracers to provide quantitative mass estimates. Current estimates for the gas masses of the observed disk population in the Lupus star-forming region are based on measurements of isotopologues of CO. However, without additional constraints, the degeneracy between H2mass and the elemental composition of the gas leads to large uncertainties in such estimates. Here, we explore the gas compositions of seven disks from the Lupus sample representing a range of CO-to-dust ratios. With Band 6 and 7 ALMA observations, we measure line emission for HCO+, HCN, and N2H+. We find a tentative correlation among the line fluxes for these three molecular species across the sample, but no correlation with13CO or submillimeter continuum fluxes. For the three disks where N2H+is detected, we find that a combination of high disk gas masses and subinterstellar C/H and O/H are needed to reproduce the observed values. We find increases of ∼10–100× previous mass estimates are required to match the observed line fluxes. This work highlights how multimolecular studies are essential for constraining the physical and chemical properties of the gas in populations of protoplanetary disks, and that CO isotopologues alone are not sufficient for determining the mass of many observed disks.

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  8. null (Ed.)